Worthy effort | Inquirer Sports

Worthy effort

Gawilan, the first Filipino to make the Para Games swim finals, checks in at a noble sixth spot behind world record holder from Israel
By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
/ 04:04 AM August 30, 2021

Israel’s Mark Malyar destroys the 400-meter freestyle field on the way to resetting his own world record. —REUTERS

Earning the prestige as the first Filipino para swimmer in the finals of the Paralympics, Gawilan clocked four minutes and 56.24 seconds in his pet event where the 30-year-old from Davao City claimed triumph in the 2018 Asian Para Games.

“Ernie is the first Filipino para swimmer to get into the finals. This is something we can build on. We are happy with the outcome,’’ said coach Tony Ong.


Mark Malyar of Israel reset his own world record with a time of 4:31.06 for the gold medal, erasing his previous standard of 4:33.64 back in 2019.

Winding up with the silver was Andrii Trusov of Ukraine in 4:35.56 with Evan Austin of the United States claiming the bronze medal in 4:38.95 after nosing out Inaki Basiloff of Argentina.


Philippine Paralympic Committee president Michael Barredo announced that Aceveda and her coach, Bernard Buen, yielded positive results for the virus and have been isolated outside of the athletes’ village.

Emotional arrival

Meanwhile, Afghanistan’s athletes were in tears when they finally arrived at the Games, officials said, as Super Sunday—with 63 golds up for grabs—began in a thrilling fashion in the triathlon.

Afghanistan’s Zakia Khudadadi and Hossain Rasouli were evacuated to France last weekend from the Taliban-controlled country in a “major global operation,” the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) said.

“The meeting at the Athletes’ Village was extremely emotional. There were lots of tears from everyone in the room,” said IPC spokesperson Craig Spence.

Spence said the Afghanistan flag appearing at Tuesday’s Opening Ceremony had been the “first step to keep the door open” and their arrival was “a very strong message of hope to many others around the world.”

Ernie Gawilan gives a good account of himself. —CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Khudadadi will compete in the women’s -49 kilogram K44 taekwondo on Thursday. Sprinter Rasouli will go in the men’s T47 long jump on Tuesday having arrived too late for his favored T47 100m.

Another chance

A triple gold winner in the 2018 Asian Para Games in Indonesia, Gawilan qualified for the finale of the 400m free after placing sixth overall in the heats in 4:58.58.


Born without a pair of legs and an irregular left limb, Gawilan will wrap up his campaign in these Games on Monday in the men’s 100m backstroke S7.

“We are sad to share the news that our para athletic discus thrower Jeanette Aceveda and her coach Bernard Buen tested positive for COVID-19 after undergoing the mandatory daily saliva antigen tests,” said Barredo. “Both will be brought to an outside quarantine facility.’’

Aceveda, who left for the Japanese capital with the national contingent a week ago, was supposed to see action on Tuesday at Olympic stadium. She’s the first visually impaired Filipino to qualify in these Games.

“Jeanette is greatly disappointed that she will have to withdraw from her event scheduled for Aug. 31. Although she would not be able to fulfill her dream to compete in the Paralympics and represent the Philippines, Jeanette still hopes there will be more chances for her to make this come true in the future,’’ said Barredo.

Powerlifter Achelle Guion was left in Manila last week also because of a positive COVID-19 test.

“Notwithstanding these setbacks, our para athletes are more determined than ever for a chance to achieve Paralympic success and glory for our country,’’ said Barredo.

—With a report from AFP INQ
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: report
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our sports news

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

© Copyright 1997-2023 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.