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2020 Tokyo Olympics

Ernie Gawilan progresses to Paralympic 400m freestyle S7 final

Ernie Gawilan finished in sixth among nine swimmers to advance to the final of the men’s 400-meter freestyle S7 of the 2020 Paralympic Games swimming tournament at the Tokyo Aquatics Center, Sunday.

With only a single swimmer facing elimination, the 2018 reigning Asian Games champion paced himself well knowing he just needed a decent time to progress. Eventually, he clocked in 4:58.58 to finish in sixth and well through to the final.

Gawilan was one of the slowest off the blocks in the second heat but managed to keep a steady pace throughout the race to better his own entry time of 4:51.00.

The top three swimmers of the said heat – which includes Mark Malyar of Israel, Italy’s Federico Bicelli, and Argentina’s Inaki Basiloff – pulled away from Gawilan after the 200-meter mark. Nonetheless, the Filipino hung on to the finish and raced his own race to clinch the spot in the medal round.

World record holder Malyar expectedly qualified with the fastest time of 4:41.82, a new Paralympic record.

Gawilan will go for a medal later today, as the final takes place at 4 p.m.

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