Gawilan, Pergolini miss medal races
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MANILA, Philippines — Filipino swimmer Ernie Gawilan and Fil-Am tanker Gia Pergolini of Team USA missed out on their medal bids even as the Philippines suffered another blow with one of its athletes testing positive for COVID-19 in the Tokyo Paralympics yesterday.
Gawilan clocked four minutes and 56.24 seconds and finished sixth in the 400-meter freestyle (S7) topped by Israel’s Mark Malyar in 4:31.06 while Pergolini, who delivered a record-breaking golden performance in the 100m backstroke Friday, missed the 50m finals (S13) after clocking 28.18 seconds in the first of the three morning heats.
Adding to the woes of Team Philippines was discus thrower Jeanette Aceveda and her coach Bernard Buen testing positive for the virus and was ruled out of the event.
The 50-year-old Aceveda, who was supposed to see action in the discus throw (F11) at 8:34 a.m. tomorrow at the Tokyo National Stadium, and Buen were brought to a quarantine facility to recover.
“Jeanette was greatly disappointed that she will have to withdraw from her event,” said Philippine Paralympic Committee (PPC) president Michael Barredo in a statement. “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.
“Notwithstanding the setback, our para-athletes are more determined than ever for a chance to achieve paralympic success and glory for our country,” he added.
The bad news left Gawilan, another tanker Gary Bejino, wheelchair racer Jerrold Mangliwan and taekwondo jin Allain Ganapin as the last Filipinos standing.