Rower Nievarez quietly arrives in Tokyo, targets Top 6 finish

Joey Villar - Philstar.com
Rower Nievarez quietly arrives in Tokyo, targets Top 6 finish
Rower Cris Nievarez (L) is already in Tokyo for the Summer Olympics set to unfurl Friday, July 23
Philippine Rowing Association

MANILA, Philippines — Rower Cris Nievarez landed in Tokyo last Saturday without much buzz.

But when the Tokyo Olympic curtains open on Friday, expect all the attention to focus on the 21-year-old from Atimonan, Quezon as he will be the first of the 19 Filipino athletes there to see action.

“We wish him luck,” said Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Abraham Tolentino referring to Nievarez, who is plunging into action in men’s individual skulls in the morning of the opening starting 7:30 a.m. (Philippine time).

Nievarez planed in alongside national coach Ed Maerina, an Olympian himself having suited up in 1988 in Seoul, South Korea, and Philippine Rowing Association (PRA) official Magnum Membrere.

He posted only one Facebook post — his photo of him and Marina — and got zero to less attention compared to the boxing team of Eumir Marcial, Irish Magno, Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam, who lit up social media with numerous newspaper and online stories of their arrival.

But Nievarez, the first Filipino rower to make it to the quadrennial event since Benjie Tolentino made it to the 2000 Sydney Games, doesn’t really mind as he is more focused on achieving his main goal.

“Target ko po top six,” said Nievarez before he left the country last week.

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