Wheelchair racer Mangliwan eyes redemption in 1500m finals

<p>Jerrold Mangliwan during the 2015 Singapore ASEAN Para Games <em>(Photo courtesy of SAPGOC)</em></p>

Jerrold Mangliwan during the 2015 Singapore ASEAN Para Games (Photo courtesy of SAPGOC)

TOKYO – After being disqualified on Friday night, wheelchair racer Jerrold Mangliwan is keen on redeeming himself as he competes in the finals of the men’s 1,500-meter T52 race in the Tokyo Paralympic Games at the Japan National Stadium here on Sunday night.

Mangliwan will be on lane 4 of the seven-man race scheduled at 8:42 p.m. (7:42 p.m. in Manila).

He was disqualified from the 400-meter run after he crossed the lane of Austria’s Thomas Geierspichler near the finish line.

It was a violation of World Para Athletics Rule 18.a regarding lane crossing and obstruction, the same infraction committed by American Isaiah Rigo that likewise resulted in disqualification, explained national para-athletics coach Joel Deriada from Manila on Saturday.

Mangliwan, 41, would have finished fifth overall with a new national record of 1 minute and .80 seconds, according to Deriada.

Hindi alam ni Jerrold na na-DQ siya kasi umalis na siya kaagad pagkatapos niyang makita 'yung time at pumunta sa dining hall nang makausap ko (Jerrold didn’t know it was a DQ because he left right after the race. He was at the dining hall when we talked),” he said.

Tinanong ko kung alam niya na pumasok siya sa lane ng kalaban. Ang sagot niya, ‘Hindi na, coach, kasi tinodo-todo ko na at nakapikit na ko nang malapit sa finish line' (I asked him if he knew he encroached on the opponent’s lane. He said he was not aware because he was focused on giving it his all and he closed his eyes while approaching the finish line).”

Since Mangliwan’s right arm is stronger than his left, Deriada surmised the front wheel of the wheelchair racer might have entered the Austrian’s lane accidentally.

“Mangliwan is a fighter and got over it right away. He is looking forward to racing on Sunday,” he said of the Tabuk-born athlete who was struck with polio at two years old.

Also seeing action on Sunday is decorated swimmer Ernie Gawilan, who will vie in the second heat of the men’s 400-meter freestyle S7 race at 9:07 a.m. (8:07 a.m. Manila time).

The top eight qualifiers will enter the finals at 5 p.m. (4 p.m. Manila time).

Swimming coach Tony Ong said Gawilan was buoyed by his performance on Friday when he set a new national record in the 400-meter individual medley (IM) of 2:50.49, although he missed the finals cut.

He surpassed his previous mark of 2:52 when he won in the 2018 Asian Para Games in Jakarta, Indonesia.

“Honestly, I was happy with his (Gawilan’s) 200 IM time, considering the short time of our preparations (for Tokyo) because of the Covid-19 pandemic and ECQ (enhanced community quarantine). That was nearly two seconds off his Asian Para Games record. That’s very good,” Ong said.

Gawilan has been dominant in his pet event on the Southeast Asian and Asian levels, winning golds back-to-back in the 2015 Singapore and 2017 Malaysia editions of the ASEAN Para Games. (PR)