Insufficient preparation, limited access to facilities doom PH bid in Tokyo
Swimmer Gary Bejino trained for less than two months while wheelchair sprint specialist Jerrold Mangliwan had to prepare without the benefit of a workout companion.
The insufficient preparation was evident in the Tokyo Paralympics, where the Philippine team failed to make it to the medal board.
Bejino capped his stint by finishing seventh in his heat with a clocking of one minute and 28.87 seconds in the men’s 100-meter backstroke S6 at Tokyo Aquatics Centre.
The 25-year-old Asian Para Games bronze medalist in the 100m back didn’t progress to the afternoon finals.
Mangliwan battled mechanical challenges at the start of the men’s 100m T52 sprint and placed eighth in the finals at Japan National Stadium.
The 41-year-old 2015 Asean Para Games champion timed 20.08 seconds in the race ruled by Raymond Martin, an athlete of Filipino-Irish descent representing the United States, in 16.99 seconds.
With the Asian Para Games in China and Asean Para Games in Vietnam penciled for next year, the coaches of Mangliwan and Bejino both agreed that ready access to training facilities would boost the results of their wards.
“I recommend that the para swimming team have full and uninterrupted access to a 50-meter pool,’’ said coach Tony Ong, who handles Bejino. “Gary was about .30 seconds away from his personal best [in the 100m back]. He made a mistake going for the turn at the halfway mark.”
Mangliwan’s coach, Joel Deriada, pointed out that uninterrupted access to the tracks and the availability of training partners would have increased the level of performance.
“Jerrold always had training partners who could push him harder. This time, he had to train solo,’’ Deriada said.
“I talked to Jerrold before the start of the race and he seemed to be having problems with his rim-pusher on the racer, putting tape on it to have a firm grip,’’ he added.
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