Swimmer nets first PH para games gold
Ernie Gawilan delivered the Philippines’ first ever gold medal in the Asian Para Games in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Sunday.
Gawilan ruled the men’s 200-meter individual medley SM7, clocking 2 minutes and 52.43 seconds to beat Chen Liang-da of Chinese Taipei (2:55.90) and Jadhav Suyash Narayan of India (2:56.51) at Gelora Bung Karno Aquatic Stadium.
The 27-year-old Gawilan, born with underdeveloped extremities, also bagged silver in the 50m freestyle S7 with a time of 31.93 seconds behind Wei Soong Toh (29.01) of Singapore.
The Philippines bagged three more medals in the meet’s third edition—Achelle Guion’s silver in the 45kg powerlifting, cyclist Arthus Bucay’s bronze in men’s time trial and Gary Bejino’s bronze in the 100m backstroke.
“When I’m in the water, I feel complete,” Gawilan said in a previous interview.
Four years ago in South Korea, Team PH took home five silver and five bronze medals for 24th place overall out of 32 nations.
China currently paces the medal race with a 10-5-3 gold-silver-bronze tally. —MARK GIONGCO, INQUIRER.NET
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