RUNNING a brilliant tactical race, Jerrold Mangliwan surged past South Korea’s Jeon Jeongdae in the last 30 meters to snatch the silver medal in the men’s 100-meter T52 of the 4th Hangzhou Asian Para Games at the Huanglong Sports Stadium in China on Tuesday.
Racing on the outside lane, Mangliwan bided his time before putting on a burst of speed in flashing past the South Korean in a personal best time of 18.65 for his first medal in the continental meet after placing fourth in the same event in the 2018 edition in Jakarta.
Japan’s Ito Tatsuya retained his title with a new games record of 17.41 seconds, while Jeon (18.67), settled for the bronze in Mangliwan’s fourth straight Asian Para Games appearance backed by Philippine Sports Commission.
“I thank God for this opportunity. First time to get a medal in the Asian Para Games, I couldn’t ask for more,” said the delighted athlete of his unexpected silver in the event that he acknowledged was not his strong suit.
“Our hard work with coach Joel [Deriada] and Bernard [Ebuen] finally bore fruit,” added the Tokyo Paralympic Games veteran, who dedicated his silver to cousin Handsome Magdiwang, who figured in an accident back home.
Ernie Gawilan and Gary Bejino produced a pair of third-place finishes in swimming on Monday night for the country’s first medals in the games.
The legless Gawilan clocked two minutes and 52.82 seconds in checking in third behind two formidable Chinese foes, who both swam with one arm and two legs.
Huang Xianquan clocked 2:48.34 to pocket the gold while compatriot Yang Huaqiang (2:50.73) settled for silver in the event in front of a banner hometown crowd at the ultra-modern 6,000-seat facility.
A Tokyo Paralympic Games veteran like Gawilan, Bejino, who lost one arm and one leg after being electrocuted at a young age, also had to play third wheel behind two Chinese bets, copping the bronze with a time of 1:12. 76 in the men’s 100-meter freestyle S6 finals.
Encouraged by his performance, Mangliwan, who won two golds in the Cambodian ASEAN Para Games last June, is expected to figure prominently for another medal in his pet event, the men’s 400-meter T52 contest, scheduled later in the week.
Hoping to add to the country’s medal tally later in the evening was swimmer Gawilan, who finished a strong second in the heats in the men’s 400-meter freestyle S7 event with a time of 5:11.16 behind Singaporean topnotcher Soong Too Wei (5:09.82).
Gawilan was apparently preserving his strength for the finals since he owns the current Asian Para Games mark of 4:51.00 when he won the event in the Indonesian capital five years ago.
Also making it to the finals of the men’s 100-meter backstroke S14 event Tuesday night was APG rookie Joseph Ariel Alegarbes, who clocked 1:01.16 in finishing sixth among the eight finalists in the event.
On the other hand, Cambodia ASEAN Para Games quadruple gold medalist Angel Mae Otom finished a distant fourth in the women’s 200-meter freestyle S5 finals in a time of 3:32.34.
Otom’s teammates, Marco Tinamisan (men’s 100-meter freestyle S4) and Roland Sabio (men’s 200-meter IM SM9) failed to go beyond their respective heats.
Veteran powerlifter Achelle Guion missed out on a podium finish, winding up in fourth place with a lift of 83 kilos in the women’s -45-kilogram division.
Image credits: PSC Media Pool