PH swimmer Bejino's Paralympic feat hailed; 'Better than those with complete limbs' — Locsin

Published August 28, 2021, 10:32 AM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

“A hero in my book.”

This was how Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. described Filipino paralympian Gary Bejino despite failing to advance to the next round of the swimming competition in the Tokyo Paralympics.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. and Filipino swimmer Gary Bejino (File photos)

Locsin made the statement Bejino finished last in his event that was held at the Tokyo Aquatics Center on Thursday, August 26.

In a tweet, Locsin described Bejino as a hero who is able to achieve such feats that not even able-bodied individuals cannot do.

“Hero. In my book. I have four limbs and much good that’s done for my swimming scores,” he said Friday evening.

“He’s a hero competing against others as heroic and more heroic than those who compete with complete limbs. Hero. Period,” he added.

Bejino, a two-time Southeast Asian Para Games gold medalist, clocked three minutes and 17.19 seconds in the men’s 200-meter individual medley SM6 to finish 17th and last overall in the morning heats.

Only the Top 8 para swimmers in the combined three heats got to advance to the finals set Thursday afternoon.

Bejino still has three events left: the men’s 50m butterfly S6 and the men’s 400m freestyle S6 scheduled September 2 and the men’s 100m backstroke S6 on September 3.

The Philippines has sent a six-man squad to compete in the 16th edition of the Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan from August 24 to September 5, 2021.