TOKYO, Aug 27 — Two national swimmers suffered different fates despite failing in the qualifying stage on the third day of the Tokyo Paralympic Games today.
Despite finishing in last position in the second qualifying heat of the S5 women’s 50 mm butterfly (physical disabilities) category, Brenda Annellia Larry put on a commendable performance by improving on her personal best in the competition held at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.
The 16-year-old Sabahan clocked 1 minute 00.62 second (s) to finish seventh.
The country’s youngest athlete to the Tokyo Paralympics previously had recorded a personal best of 1: 09.72s in Singapore in 2019.
Chinese swimmer Dong Lu won the heat in a time of 40.74s followed by her compatriot Jiao Cheng who did 43.05s while third place went to Brazilian swimmer Joana Maria da Silva Neves Euzebio (46.32s).
Brenda finished 13th out of 14 swimmers from the two qualifying heats with only the top eight making the cut for the final.
Meanwhile, another national swimmer, Jamery Siga, was clearly frustrated when his dream to at least renew his personal best in the men’s category of the same did not materialise after clocking 40.32s.
His previous best personal best was 38.28s done at the World Swimming Championships in London in 2019.
The 36-year-old Sarawakian admitted that a poor start in today’s competition resulted in him finishing in last place in the third qualifying heat.
Jamery, for whom this is his third Paralympic appearance, finished sixth in the heat while Tao Zheng from China topped the competition and also broke the world record with a time of 32.34s, followed by Yaroslav Semenenko of Ukraine with 34.55s while host swimmer Kaede Hinata took third place with a time of 37.8s.
Meanwhile, Jamery, who was stricken by polio at the age of five, which caused his right arm to shrink, also revealed that his campaign at the Tokyo Paralympics is probably his last given his advanced age if he wants to compete in Paris in 2024.
“I apologise to all Malaysians for not being able to do my best, maybe this is my last Paralympics, age is also catching up,” he told Bernama in a tearful voice.
However, he is still interested in continuing to represent the country and will return to focus on his next missions in tournaments as well as other sporting events, including the Asian Para Games in Hangzhou, China next year.