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Delgaco makes medal round

JOANIE Delgaco has a chance of ending the 21-year curse of the national rowers in the Asian Games. | Photograph courtesy of PHILIPPINE ROWING ASSOCIATION

Joanie Delgaco came up with an impressive performance to advance to the medal round of the women’s single sculls of the 19th Asian Games on Friday at the Fuyang Water Sports Centre in Hangzhou.

Delgaco, a silver medalist in the previous Southeast Asian Games, clocked eight minutes and 18.30 seconds to finish second in Heat No. 2 and secure a spot in the medal round.

Shiho Yonekawa of Japan topped the heats with a time of 8:06.32 minutes while Leung Wing Wun of Hong Kong took the third spot with 8:20.35 minutes. Only the top three per heat will advance to the medal round set on Monday.

With that, Delgaco has a golden chance of breaking the 21-year medal drought of the national rowers in the Asian Games. The last time the country won an Asian Games medal was when Alvin Amposta and Nestor Cordova grabbed the bronze medal in the men’s lightweight doubles sculls in the Busan edition in 2002.

“We’re so proud of her, especially PRA (Philippine Rowing Association) president Patrick Gregorio and the coaching staff because her hard work paid off. Let’s hope and pray she gets a medal,” PRA secretary general Magnum Membrere said.

“The job’s not yet finished. She will relax for the opening ceremony but she will remain focused for the final.”

Olympian Cris Nievarez, however, fell short of making it to the medal round after settling for fourth place in Heat No. 2 of the men’s single sculls.

Nievarez, who competed in the Tokyo Olympics, registered 7:25.65, but it wasn’t enough as he was relegated to the Final B also on Monday.

Liang Zhang of China topped Heat No. 2 with a time of 7:12.77 while Vladislav Yakolev of Kazakhstan took second place with a time of 7:19.27.

Balraj Panwar of India booked the last seat of the medal round in Heat No. 2 after clocking 7:22.22.

Meanwhile, men’s lightweight double sculls rowers Edgar Ilas and Zuriel Sumintac and Feiza Lenton and Tammy Sha will play in the classification match on Sunday after bombing out of contention last Thursday.

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