By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
Swimmers Ernie Gawilan and Gary Bejino kicked off team Philippines’ medal haul in the ongoing 2023 Asian Para Games held in Hangzhou, China last October 23, 2023.
The PHL swimming squad veterans snatched a pair of bronze medals in their respective categories in the men’s swimming event.
Gawilan got on board first for the PHL delegation after managing to barge into the top three of the men’s 200m individual medley SM7 category.
The decorated para swimmer tallied a final time duration finish of 2:52.82 behind the home bets Huang Xianquan and Yang Huaqiang.
Xianquan finished the race with a time of 2:43.84 while his Chinese duo ended the 200m individual medley with a time of 2:50.73.
Despite failing to replicate his gold medal finish last edition in Jakarta, Indonesia, Gawilan still proved he is one of the best para swimmers in Asia after another podium finish.
Meanwhile, Bejino hiked team PHL’s medal tally to two after securing the bronze medal in the men’s 100m freestyle S6 event.
Bejino clocked in 1:12.76 during the final run and fell short against the Chinese duo of Luo Jinbiao and Jia Hongguang.
Jinbiao was unstoppable during the race and set an Asian Para Games record of 1:08.18 while Hongguang had 1:08.93.
Team PHL will have the chance to add more medals as the prestigious global games will end on October 28, 2023.