Cris Nievarez ranks 23rd overall in Tokyo Olympics rowing

By Ivan Stewart Saldajeno

July 30, 2021, 6:27 pm

<p>Cris Nievarez <em>(File photo)</em></p>

Cris Nievarez (File photo)

MANILA – Filipino rower Cris Nievarez finished in 23rd place in the men's single sculls event of the Tokyo Olympics following the final phase on Friday at the Sea Forest Waterway in the Japanese capital.

Nievarez settled for fifth place in the Division D final after clocking in at seven minutes and 21.28 seconds, almost 18 seconds behind race winner Vladislav Yakovlev of Kazakhstan.

The Division D final is part of the repechage rounds for Yakovlev, Nievarez, and company.

After the event, Philippine Rowing Association president Pato Gregorio said he has high hopes on Nievarez, who finished his Olympic debut.

“Cris’s journey as a world-class rower just started in Tokyo,” Gregorio said. “He has a long way to go — still young at 21.”

He even thinks Nievarez can duplicate Hidilyn Diaz's historic gold medal feat in weightlifting on Monday night.

“It took Hidilyn four Olympic cycles to win the gold medal, she never gave up,” Gregorio said. “So Cris, don’t give up. He is top 23 in the Olympics. It’s a great way to start.”

In the Division A final, Stefanos Ntouskos of Greece took the gold medal by finishing the race in 6:40.45, eclipsing the previous Olympic record of 6:41.34 set by Mahe Drysdale of New Zealand during the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Kjetil Borch of Norway came in second for the silver with 6:41.66, while Damir Martin of Croatia took the bronze at 6:42.58. (PNA)