Cris Nievarez places 5th in quarterfinal heat, misses out on medal chance

Cris Nievarez still gave a good account of himself in his Olympic debut. AP Photo/Lee Jin-man

Rower Cris Nievarez is out of the running for a medal after failing to clinch a top three position in the quarterfinals of the Tokyo Olympics regatta at the Sea Forest Waterway Sunday morning.

The 21-year-old clocked a respectable 7:50.74, which was fifth best in the fourth quarterfinals bracket. He will advance to the men's single sculls semifinals C/D bracket, which will be a race to determine final placing in the event.

World champion Oliver Ziedler of Germany placed first in the bracket after finishing with a time of 7:12.75. Luca Verthein Ferreira of Brazil placed second at 7:14.26, while Mindaugas Griskonis of Lithuania remained in the hunt for a medal with a finish of 7:16.71.

Nievarez qualified directly to the men's single sculls quarterfinals, becoming the first Filipino to do so, when he finished with a time of 7:22.97 seconds in Heat 5 last Friday.

Whatever happens, the young rower will accomplish the best finish of any Filipino in the event. Previous participants Ed Maerina (1988) and Benjie Tolentino (2000) only managed to make the repechage.

The pride of Atimonan, Quezon will fight again in the men's single sculls C/D semifinals on Tuesday, July 27, at either 7:30 a.m. or 7:40 a.m.