Philippine rowing’s lone Tokyo 2020 qualifier Cris Nievarez is positive that he would be primed for his best performance in the the quadrennial meet that would be staged from July 23 to August 8.
“May two months na preparation pa naman so kaya pa,” said Nievarez on Tuesday, May 11 in the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum.
(I still have two months to prepare, so I still have a chance.)
Nievarez sealed an Olympic berth by the virtue of continental qualification regatta rankings in the men’s single scull (M1x) event.
The Philippines was able to make it to the top 5 national Olympic committees that were awarded a slot in the Tokyo Olympics.
Nievarez debuts in the Olympics at 21 years old with his sight transfixed on just one goal, to do his best while donning the Philippine tri-colors in the biggest global sports showpiece.
“‘Yung goal talaga ng Philippine rowing ay ma-represent yung sagwan namin sa mataas na kumpetisyon tulad ng Olympics at yung watawat din ng Pilipinas,” said Nievarez.
“Susubukan ko na maibigay lahat ng best dito pa lang sa Pilipinas sa bawat training na ma-improve yung time hanggang sa makadikit doon sa malalakas na countries.”
(The goal of Philippine rowing is represent our paddles in the highest level of competition like the Olympics and the flag of the Philippines. I’ll just try to give my all in my training in the Philippines to improve my time until I’m able to get close to the powerhouse countries.)
Philippine Rowing Association president Patrick Gregorio vowed that the federation would fully support Nievarez in his preparations.
“Lahat ng puwedeng maibigay na pagkakataon na additional training kay Cris ay ibibigay natin,” said Gregorio.
“Lalo na at isa lang si Cris na nag-qualify, so hindi mahirap kumuha ng suporta at sponsors para bigyan si Cris ng exposure.”
Nievarez will continue to train in La Mesa Dam with the rest of the team. He is waiting for Uzbekistan coach Shukhrat Ganiev to arrive in Manila. The Uzbek coach is seen as key to the whole team’s improvement.
Tune-up tournaments remain a question, though, as Gregorio is worried that the quarantine protocols would derail Nievarez’ preparations for the Olympics.
Nievarez already had a peek of what to expect during the Olympics since the Asia Oceania Continental qualifiers were held at the Sea Forest Waterway in Tokyo, Japan, where the Olympic event will be staged.
“Ang maganda kasi nakapa ko na yung klase ng tubig sa Japan. Doon din kasi gagawin yung Olympics so may idea na ako kung ano ang dapat kong palakasin,” said Nievarez, adding he needs to improve on his muscle strength and endurance for the Olympiad.
(The good thing is that I got to try out the waters of Japan. Since that’s where the Olympics will be staged, I know what I can strengthen in myself.) – Rappler.com