A longshot for an Olympic medal, Nievarez rows to put his sport in spotlight


Cris Nievarez hopes his stint within the Olympics will increase rowing’s profile within the nation. —PHOTO COURTESY OF CRIS NIEVAREZ

Someday round Might, Cris Nievarez stood alongside Tokyo’s Odaiba Bay—the venue of this Summer season Video games’ boat races—pondering that an Olympic berth was an extended shot.

He did, nevertheless, toy with the concept of returning quickly.

“We weren’t actually anticipating to qualify. However we had been actually hoping to get again,” he informed SportsIQ in Filipino on Thursday, trying again at one of many moments through the World Rowing Asia and Oceania Olympic and Paralympic Qualification Regatta the place he completed ninth.That faint want, nevertheless, would be the actuality Nievarez will likely be residing in on July 23, when the Atimonan, Quezon, rower plunges into the boys’s single sculls (M1x) occasion of the Olympic Video games.

And for his half, Nievarez, who’s the Philippines’ first rower for the video games since 2000’s Benjamin Tolentino, mentioned he’s greater than primed for the second.

“Actually prepared—I’m 100% able to compete,” mentioned Nievarez, who appears to have embraced stress and the challenges that await him at Sea Forest Waterway.

A complete of 32 athletes will lock horns within the M1x occasion. The sphere will likely be bannered by Croatia’s Damir Martin, the 2016 Rio Video games silver winner hoping to rebound from his slender loss to now-retired Mahe Drysdale of New Zealand.

Additionally seeing motion are Lithuania’s Mindaugas Griškonis, Norway’s Kjetil and Germany’s Oliver Zeidler, all of whom Nievarez competed towards through the 2019 World Championships in Austria.

Nievarez, a 2019 Southeast Asian Video games gold winner, understands the distant chance of tabbing a medal towards such established names, and that’s exactly why he’s greater than desirous to compete towards them on the most important stage recognized to man.

“I’ll be representing [the Philippines’] oars. That means, I’m additionally going to place extra publicity on the game and on my efficiency,” he mentioned, noting his counterparts’ fixed publicity to membership competitors—one thing that Filipinos massively lack.

“We solely have the Manila Boat Membership right here. Then on the college degree, solely College of the Philippines and Ateneo’s,” he mentioned. “After that, it’s the nationwide workforce already.”

The 21-year-old rowing ace would be the first Filipino to see motion on this 12 months’s Summer season Video games, barring any adjustments within the M1x schedule.

“I’ll give no matter I might give to the sport,” he mentioned.

This, as Nievarez plots, not just for his future but in addition for the game.

“There will likely be loads of Olympics to come back. Paris is up subsequent. By that point, I’ll be seasoned sufficient,” he mentioned.

And Nievarez hopes that by then, the Filipinos’ curiosity within the sport has grown immensely as nicely.

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