Tough field sinks Lacuna hopes in Rio
RIO DE JANEIRO–Jessie Khing Lacuna wound up fifth to last in a field of 50 in the men’s 400-meter freestyle and bombed out of the Rio Olympics, following table tennis player Ian Lariba out of the Games.
There was no way Lacuna could advance to the next round with a paltry time of 4 minutes and 1.70 seconds in the second of the seven-heat competition at the Olympic Swimming Stadium here.
He ended up sixth in the heat, more than 5 seconds slower than his personal best of 3:55.34.
One of two Filipino recipients of swimming’s “Universality” slot in Rio, Lacuna placed last among six Asians in his only event here.
“I tried to pace myself all through the swim but the field was just too strong,” said Lacuna, who also raced in London 2012.
China’s elongated Sun Yang showed up his regional rivals with a time of 3:44.23, good for fourth spot going into the semifinal heats.
Even Lacuna’s Southeast Asian Games nemesis Welson Sim of Malaysia fared better, finishing 34th overall with a time of 3:51.57.
Lacuna’s early elimination, matching Lariba’s fate in the women’s singles in table tennis, left the Philippines with only 11 athletes standing in the Games.
Boxer Charly Suarez was to fight Great Joseph Cordina, Britain’s plucky European champion, for a berth in the last 16 Saturday night.