SUBIC – Quezon-pride Cris Nievarez and the tandem of Joane Delgaco and Melcah Caballero hit paydirt as the Philippine rowing team got off to a sizzling start in the 30th Southeast Asian Games Saturday at the ACEA Bay here.
Motivated by his desire to help his family in the seaside town of Atimonan, Quezon, Nievarez gave the country its first gold medal on Day 7 after ruling the men’s lightweight single sculls a day after he topped the time trials. He clocked in at 7:34.27 after besting Thailand’s Siripong Chaiwichitchonkul 7:35.01 for the gold.
‘‘I didn’t expect to win the gold but the Lord guided me to victory. I am also motivated by my desire to help my family,’’ said the 19-year-old Nievarez, a first-timer in the biennial Games. Nievarez said he will use his financial incentives to help his two siblings and mother.
Indonesia’s Kakan Kusmana bagged the bronze with a time of 7:39.54.
Bicol standouts Delgaco and Caballero combined to rule the women’s lightweight double sculls with a time of 7:24.21.
Vietnam’s Thi Hao Dinh and Thanh Huyen Ta took the silver after clocking 7:27.65. Myanmar’s Shwe Zin Latt and Nilar Win registered a time of 7:30.23 for the bronze.
Delgaco, 21, and also a SEA Games rookie, said she would buy a land in Iriga City, Camarines, Sur, while Caballero plan to save her cash incentives for future use.
Zuriel Sumintac and Nestor Cordova failed to land a medal in the men’s pair after finishing fifth in the event won by Indonesia’s Dendri Al-Ghiffari and Ferdiansyah, who timed 6:58.46. The Filipinos clocked 7:15.04.