Manila, Philippines, May 10, 2021: A graduate from the Olympic Council of Asia’s rowing youth camp has been rewarded for his hard work and dedication – by booking a ticket for the Tokyo Olympics.
Cris Nievarez, 21, was a member of the Philippines delegation at the OCA youth camp in Pattaya, Thailand in October 2016, when 38 athletes and 21 coaches from 21 National Olympic Committees took part in the course.
After competing in the Asia-Oceania Olympic qualification event in Tokyo last week, Nievarez learned on Monday that he had been allocated a slot in the men’s single sculls event in the Olympic Games.
World Rowing informed the Philippine Rowing Association of the good news, sparking major celebrations in the rowing community in particular and in the sports scene in general.
“We are happy to share that the Philippine Rowing Association received confirmation from World Rowing that we have qualified for the Men's Single Sculls (M1x) for the Tokyo Olympic Games. Congratulations, Cris!” the association said.
Among the people to congratulate Nievarez was Chris Perry – the OCA’s chief instructor at the youth camp in Pattaya. The Hong Kong-based rowing coach said the Tokyo slot was a just reward for the hard work of the Philippine Rowing Association.
The Philippines’ Rio 2016 weightlifting silver medallist, Hidilyn Diaz, who will be heading for her fourth Olympic Games in Tokyo, also welcomed Cris to the team.
“Filipino rower Cris Nievarez caught the last boat to the Tokyo Olympics in July,” said the Manila Times.
All the major media outlets, including ABS-CBN, ESPN and CNN, reported the news, stating that Nievarez was the first rower from the Philippines to qualify for the Olympics since the Sydney Games in 2000.
The Philippines has now qualified eight athletes, including four boxers, for Tokyo 2020 this July.