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Wheelchair runner Mangliwan and swimmer Gawilan hope to raise PH at the Tokyo Paralympic Games

Japan’s Tomoki Sato (top) reacts after winning the men’s 400m final. Jerrold Mangliwan finished fifth in the event, but was later disqualified for a lane violation. —AFP

Jerrold Mangliwan was too caught up in a mad dash to the finish before finally settling for fifth place in the T52 400-meter wheelchair race at the Tokyo Paralympic Games on Friday night at the National Stadium of Japan.

He did not know that he had somehow crossed into Austrian Thomas Geierspichler’s lane near the finish line. And that wasn’t the only thing he couldn’t notice.

“Jerrold didn’t know he was disqualified because he left immediately after seeing his time and was already in the dining room when I was able to speak to him,” his coach, Joel Deriada, said in Filipino on Saturday.

Mangliwan finished with a time of 1: 00.80, a personal best for him had counted.

“I asked him if he knew he crossed into his opponent’s lane,” said Deriada, who spoke to the runner via video messages because a positive test for COVID-19 prohibited him from flying to Tokyo. “He said ‘no coach, because I was giving it my all and my eyes were closed near the finish line.’

The infringement nullified not only Mangliwan’s new mark, but also his fifth place, which was one second off the podium.

But he has one more shot at redemption: Mangliwan, the nation’s standard-bearer during the opening ceremony, will compete in the men’s 1,500-meter race on Sunday, qualifying for the final also at the Japan National Stadium due to a shortage of participants.

Ernie Gawilan (left) shares a moment of inactivity with fellow swimmer Gary Bejino at the Tokyo Aquatic Center. —PHILIPPINE SPORTS COMMISSION

Tenacious field

You won’t be the only one looking for a medal at this gathering of the world’s best Para athletes.

Encouraged by faster production at an earlier event, Ernie Gawilan is looking to level up on Sunday as well.

“My goal is to be present at the award ceremony. But first, I have to do everything I can to qualify for the final, ” Gawilan said, preparing for a tough field in the men’s 400m freestyle S7 heats.

The 30-year-old swimming ace from Davao City, born without a pair of legs and an irregular left limb, is currently Asia’s best at the event when he ruled the roost at the 2018 Asian Games Para Games (APG) in Indonesia with three golds. medals.

“I told him to stay focused and to be in control,” coach Tony Ong said.

New milestone

Despite an early start in the opening heat of the men’s individual medley 200m on Friday, Gawilan set a milestone by posting a new Philippine record of 2: 50.49, faster than the 2:52 clock he set to claim the medal. gold in the event during the last APG.

Mangliwan will seek to be more careful as he competes in the 1.5-kilometer T52 race.

Since the athlete’s right arm is stronger than the left, Mangliwan may not have realized that he was slowly approaching the Austrian’s lane at his maximum effort during the final 100 meters.

“Perhaps by the strength of his [right] poor man, he was veering to the left, “said Deriada from his neighborhood.

The coach said that Mangliwan was obviously disappointed by the missed opportunity, but added: “Mangliwan is a fighter and he got over it right away. He’s looking forward to racing on Sunday. “

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