FILIPINO rowers start their medal campaign today, May 9, in the Vietnam Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) and among those praying for their success is Melcah Jen Caballero, who has retired after spending eight years in the national team.
Caballero delivered two of the country's three gold medals in rowing during the 2019 edition. She ruled the Women Single Sculls (W1X) event and the Women Double Sculls (W2X) event with Joanie Delgaco.
Cris Nievarez contributed the other gold medal after dominating the Lightweight Men Single Sculls (LM1X) event, while Edgar Ilas and Roque Abala Jr. pocketed the bronze medal in the Lightweight Men Double Sculls (LM2X) event.
Nievarez, Delgaco, Ilas and Abala Jr. are spearheading the team which include veterans Zuriel Sumintac and Amelyn Pagulayan, and newcomers Christian Joseph Jasmin, Van Adrian Maxilom, Athens Greece Tolentino, Emmanuel Joseph Obaña, Joachim De Jesus, Kristine Paraoan, Kharl Julianne Sha, Josephine Mireille Qua, Feiza Jane Lenton and Alyssa Hannah Marciana Go.
The Philippines will compete in 13 events, namely LM1X (Nievarez), Lightweight Men Double Sculls (Nievarez and Jasmin), Men Quadruple Sculls (Nievarez, Abala Jr., Tolentino and Jasmin), Lightweight Men Pair (Ilas and Sumintac), Lightweight Coxless Four (Sumintac, Abala Jr., Illas and Joachim De Jesus), Lightweight Men Quadruple Sculls (Jasmin, Maxilom, Tolentino and Obaña), W1X (Delgaco), W2X (Pagulayan and Qua), Women Coxless Pair (Pagulayan and Paraoan), Women Quadruple Sculls (Delgaco, Pagulayan, Paraoan and Qua), Lightweight Women Double Sculls (Lenton and Go), Lightweight Women Coxless Four (Delgaco, Sha, Lenton and Go) and Lightweight Women Quadruple Sculls (Delgaco, Sha, Lenton and Go).
"I am so excited for my teammates. I saw how prepared they are. I believe that they can deliver the medals. I wish them the best of luck," said the 26-year-old Caballero, who quit to focus on her military career, having enlisted in the Philippine Navy in 2015.