Jen Caballero looks to become the first Filipino female rower in the Olympics as she heads the five-athlete Team Pilipinas contingent to the 2021 Asia Oceania Olympic and Paralympic Rowing Qualification Regatta starting on Thursday at the Sea Forest Waterway in Tokyo, Japan.
“Salamat po sa PSC sa pagsuporta at pagtitiwala sa amin. Regular po ang online consultations namin sa sports psychology and sports physiology,” said Caballero.
The team’s hotel accommodation, allowances, and airfare amounting to over P1.4 million, too, were covered by the PSC. This includes the additional support covering the RT-PCR tests upon entry to Tokyo, and accommodation assistance on their return to the country.
The tournament will award places in four events for the Summer Games — men’s and women’s singles sculls, and men’s and women’s lightweight double sculls.
Caballero will join forces with her gold-medal-winning partner Joanie Delgaco in the women’s lightweight double sculls. The Nationals will take on the course at 11:30 AM (Tokyo time) for the second of the two heats.
Cris Nievarez, also a champion from the Clark Games, will open the campaign for Team Pilipinas as he takes on four other rowers in the first of three heats at 10 AM. The top three rowers move on to Thursday’s semifinals, while the fourth-ranked one will participate in the afternoon’s repechage.
Roque Abala Jr. and Zuriel Sumintac complete the contingent as they compete in the men’s lightweight double sculls at 11:00 in Heat 1 of the class.
The top two rowers will be at the A Final on Friday, the repechage for the third-ranked one is slated on Friday.
“Hindi man naging madali ang preparations, motivated ang mga athletes natin,” said rowing coach Edgardo Maerina, the first Filipino to compete in Olympic rowing in 1988.