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Gawilan gets another shot at Paralympics gold medal

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ERNIE GAWILAN returns to the Paralympics in Tokyo in August as a grizzled para athlete with a more intense desire to land a podium finish.

“I will swim my very best. I will either surpass my previous ninth place [backstroke] and freestyle [400 meters],” Gawilan told BusinessMirror on Wednesday. “And I will do my very best to bring home a gold medal.”

“It will be very difficult, but I will give it my best shot,” added Gawilan, who is under quarantine at the Hotel Sofitel in Pasay City after arriving recently from the World Para Swimming World Series in Berlin where he clinched a swimming bronze medal.

Gawilan, competing out of the Island Garden City of Samal in the Davao Region, formalized his entry to the Tokyo Paralympic Games after passing the reclassification review status on the S7 category in Berlin. The review was based on the amputation and paralysis of the Rio 2016 veteran.

Gawilan was fifth in the 100-meter breaststroke heats with a one minute and 44.89 seconds clocking but swam a bronze medal-clinching 5:03.74 in the 400-m freestyle topped by Argentina’s Inaki Basiloff (4:41.96) and Israeli’s Mark Malyar (4:42.77).

Gawilan will swim the 400-meter freestyle, 100-meter backstroke and 200-meter individual medley in the Tokyo Paralympics set from August 24 to September 5.

Coach Tony Ong, meanwhile, said they are awaiting the approval of the bipartite application of another para swimmer, Gary Bejino, for his qualification for the Tokyo Games.

Bejino hopes to qualify for the 400m freestyle and 200m individual medley.

Allain Ganapin also qualified for the Paralympics taekwondo competition.

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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