PH rower Joanie Delgaco qualifies for Paris Olympics

PH rower Joanie Delgaco qualifies for Paris Olympics

By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
/ 12:43 PM April 21, 2024

Philippines rower Joanie Delgaco Paris Olympics

Joanie Delgaco becomes the first Filipino female rower to make the Olympics.—CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines— As Joanie Delgaco cut through the calm waters on her final approach, the Filipino rowing ace got a timely confidence boost from her teammates in the national team.

The deafening cheers from the rest of the Philippine squad was enough propulsion for Delgaco to finish fourth in the 2024 World Rowing Asian and Oceania Olympic Qualification Regatta in Chungju, South Korea and grab a seat to the Paris Olympics.

“I heard my teammates shouting on my way to the finish line. Their support was very loud and clear. It pushed me to row harder until the end,” said Delgaco in Filipino during an interview with Radyo Pilipinas 2.


READ: PH rowers target Paris berths in Korea qualifier

The 26-year-old Southeast Asian Games gold medalist clocked seven minutes and 49.39 seconds in the women’s single sculls finals, installing Delgaco as the first Filipina rower to qualify to the Olympics.

Uzbekistan’s Anna Prakaten topped the race in 7:31.28 and Japan’s Shiho Yonekawa placed second in 7:35.93 before Iran’s Fatemeh Mojallal Topraghghale checked in at third (7:37.07) after the 2,000-meter race.

“Joanie made history today, not only for herself but for the entire Philippine rowing team,” said Philippine Rowing Association president Patrick “Pato” Gregorio.

Under Gregorio’s watch, Filipino rowers finally broke the impasse of a 20-year absence in the Olympics when Cris Nievarez qualified to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.


“An entry for Philippine rowing in two consecutive Olympics. This is a rare feat,” said Gregorio.

Delgaco joined the growing list of Filipinos bound for the glitzy Paris capital in July, which includes pole vaulter EJ Obiena, boxers Eumir Marcial, Aira Villegas and Nesthy Petecio, weightlifters Vanessa Sarno, Elreen Ando and John Febuar Ceniza and gymnasts Carlos Yulo, Aleah Finnegan and Levi Jung-Ruivivar.


“I really never thought that I could be in the Olympics. Stronger rowers from other countries used to beat me during the races. But now, I’m capable of beating them,” said Delgaco.

Tucked in lane 4, Delgaco defeated two other rowers in Vietnam’s Hue Pham Thi, who wound up fifth (7:53.08), and Singapore’s Saiyidah Aisyah (7:59.06).

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TAGS: Joanie Delgaco, Paris Olympics

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