Gary Bejino finished last among 20 swimmers in the preliminary heats of the men’s 100-meter backstroke S6 to end his 2020 Summer Paralympic Games campaign at the Tokyo Aquatics Center, Friday morning.
The Games rookie once again started strong but faded in the end to touch the wall at 1:28.87 and in seventh in the second heat of the qualifying races. Once more, just the top eight swimmers move on to the afternoon’s final.
Bejino used a fast reaction time off the blocks to propel himself at the start of the race, sending him to a fifth-place leg as he touched the opposite wall at 41.87, just a few ticks ahead of Ireland’s Patrick Flanagan and Italy’s Antonio Fantim.
Flanagan, however, used a strong underwater from the other side of the pool to slowly pull away from Bejino and Fantin. The Irishman eventually finished at 1:26.81.
On the other hand, it was a tight race for the 25-year-old Filipino and the Italian, only the latter had that second wind at the end to take the sixth place by a full second.
China’s Jia Honguang, the 50-meter butterfly champion, was the fastest qualifier ahead of Argentina’s Matias Andrade and reigning world champion in Croatia’s Dino Sinovcic, with a time of 1:14.15.