Rowing body eyes Olympic berths

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    BUOYED by the gold medals it won in the 30th Southeast Asian Games, the coming Tokyo Olympics is up next on the radar of the Philippine Rowing Association.

    The federation, under newly-elected president Patrick Gregorio, wants all of the three paddlers who won a gold medal in the biennial meet to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics in July.

    The lone Olympic qualifier for rowing is set three months from now and Gregorio expressed the PRA’s commitment of providing all-out support to the Filipinos’ bid of earning a berth in Tokyo as part of his initial project as head of the association.

    “Kung papalarin, baka makakuha pa tayo ng isa pang qualifier para sa Tokyo Olympics,” said Gregorio, the former PBA board chairman and currently secretary-general of the Philippine Olympic Committee.

    Joanie Delgaco, Melcah Jen Caballero, and Chris Nievarez, gold winners all in the last SEA Games, are vying in the lone Asia and Oceania Qualification tournament in Chungju, South Korea from April 27 to 29.

    Delgaco and Caballero appear to have the best chance of qualifying in the lightweight women’s double sculls after finishing fourth in the last Asian Rowing Championships and eighth in the World Rowing Championships.

    Three Asian berths will be up for grabs in the three-day qualifier.