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Jerrold Mangliwan qualifies for men's 400-meter final

Jerrold Mangliwan is in the men's 400-meter final for the second straight Olympics. PPC (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--The Philippines got its first outright crack at a Tokyo Paralympic medal after wheelchair racer Jerrold Mangliwan made it to the final of the men's 400-meter race at the conclusion of the preliminary heats on Friday at the Tokyo Olympic Stadium.

Mangliwan, the flag-bearer for the Philippines during the opening ceremonies, had to be in a waiting game after missing out on the first qualifying quota for the final, which is to make the Top 3 in his heat.

Mangliwan finished fourth in Heat 1 after clocking in at one minute and 3.41 seconds, just a half-second behind third placer Leonardo Perez of Mexico.

However, the entire Heat 1, led by heat winner Raymond Martin of the United States, who finished the race at a season-best 57.7 seconds, moved on to the medal rounds as only the Top 3 in Heat 2, led by world record holder Tomoki Sato of Japan, made the cut.

Sato came just 0.08 seconds short of breaking the Paralympic record set by compatriot Tomoya Ito in 2008 in Beijing after winning Heat 2 with a time of 57.33 seconds.

Swiss racer Beat Boesch, who finished fourth in Heat 2, clocked in at 1:05.1, almost a second slower than the last qualifier, Thomas Geierspichler of Austria, who was fifth in Heat 1.

This is Mangliwan's second straight appearance in the medal round having qualified too in Rio De Janeiro in 2016, where he finished seventh.

Joining Mangliwan, Perez, Martin, Sato, Geierspichler in the final set at 7:16 p.m. Friday (Philippine Time) are Americans Gianfranco Iannotta and Isaiah Rigo, and Japanese Hirokazu Ueyonabaru.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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