MANILA, Philippines -- (2nd UPDATE) Filipino rower Cris Nievarez has secured a ticket to the Tokyo Olympics, the federation announced on Monday.
The Philippine Rowing Association revealed on their social media accounts that Nievarez will compete in the Men's Single Sculls in the Summer Games in July.
"We are happy to share that the Philippine Rowing Association received confirmation from World Rowing that we have qualified for the Men's Single Sculls (M1x) for the Tokyo Olympic Games," the federation said. "Congratulations, Cris!"
Nievarez, a gold medalist in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, is the first Filipino rower to compete in the Summer Games since Benjie Tolentino in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
The MVP Sports Foundation, which supports Nievarez and the Philippine rowing team, said the next step is to "help our Olympian and his coaches prepare the best way they can."
"Under the guidance and leadership of the Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Committee, the MVPSF will be there every step of the way," assured MVPSF President Al Panlilio.
Nievarez competed in the World Rowing Asia & Oceania Olympic & Paralympic Qualification Regatta held in Tokyo, Japan last week.
He finished in fifth place in the semifinals, and only the top three finishers advanced to the Final A which offered automatic spots to the Tokyo Games. He wound up in third place in the Final B to finish ninth overall in the men's single sculls.
But he was able to qualify once results from other events were taken into account.
Nievarez becomes the eighth Filipino athlete to secure a spot in the Tokyo Games, following weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, pole vaulter EJ Obiena, gymnast Carlos Yulo, and boxers Eumir Marcial, Irish Magno, Nesthy Petecio, and Carlo Paalam.