Ernie Gawilan advances to men’s 400m freestyle finals in Tokyo Paralympics

Published August 29, 2021, 8:59 AM

by Kristel Satumbaga-Villar

Ernie Gawilan booked a spot in the final of the men’s 400-meter freestyle S7 on Sunday in the Tokyo Paralympics at the Tokyo Aquatics Center.

The two-time Paralympian clocked 4 minutes and 58.58 seconds to finish sixth in the combined two-heat group behind top qualifier Mark Malyar of Israel, who set a new Paralympic record of 4:41.82.

Only the Top 8 para swimmers advance to the finals set 4 p.m. Sunday.

Also advancing to the finals were Italy’s Federico Bicelli (4:45.53), Argentina’s Inaki Basiloff (4:46.17), Ukraine’s Andrii Trusov (4:57.23), United States’ Evan Austin (4:57.35), Singapore’s Toh Wei Soong (5:03.82) and Chinese Taipei’s Chen Liang-da (5:15.89).

This was Gawilan’s second event after missing his chance to advance in the men’s 200m individual medley SM7 last Friday by finishing ninth.

Gawilan, who was the first gold medalist in the Asian Para Games last 2018, hopes to land a medal in his second Paralympic stint after failing to make it to the finals in all three events at the 2016 Rio edition.