T&T's rower Felice Aisha Chow during heat two of the women's singles sculls at the Sea Forest Waterway at the Tokyo Olympic Games in Japan on Thursday. Chow placed fourth and qualified for the repechage. Courtesy TTOC

T&T’s rower Felice Aisha Chow won the second of three heats in the repechage to progress to the quarterfinals of the women’s single sculls in the virus-delayed Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan on Friday night.

Chow made full use of her second chance leading from the start of the 2,000 metres course at the Sea Forest Waterway and crossed first in a time of eight minutes and 15.94 seconds to fill one of the six places that was available in the four quarterfinal heats.

The 44-year-old Chow along with her fellow Olympic rowers were back on the waterway earlier than previously announced due to expected adverse weather conditions on Monday (July 26). 

However, that did not affect her performance as the T&T athlete finished ahead of Hyejeong Jeong of Korea (8:26.73), Nicaragua’s Evidelia Gonzalez Jarquin (8:37.55), and Nigerian Esther Toko (9:07.54), respectively. The top two finishers Chow and Jeong advance to the quarterfinals while the remaining crews compete in the placement semifinals.

The local rower is competing at her second Olympic Games after her debut in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2016. Then at age 39, the oldest women’s athlete to represent T&T in any sport at the Olympics and also the first rower to represent this country at an Olympic Games placed 22nd overall.

In the preliminary round on Thursday night, she placed fourth in heat two of six with 8:02.02. Eventual heat winner Ireland’s Sanita Puspure with 7:46.08 along with runner-up Mexican Kenia Lechuga (7:54.21), who edged out third-placed, Anneta Kyridou of Greece (7:54.28), were the three automatic qualifiers for the quarterfinals.

The T&T rower competing in lane three was third after 500m and 2.52 seconds behind leader Puspure and 0.29 seconds clear of Kyridou. The Greek rower sped past Chow by the halfway mark pushing the T&T athlete back into fourth.

The distance between the two grew to some 3.88 seconds at 1,500m as Kyridou took sole possession of the third spot with Chow behind in fourth until they crossed the line. Further back in fifth was Kathleen Noble of Uganda in 8:21.85 and Singapore’s Joan Poh (8:31.12) in sixth.

The quarterfinals takes place on Sunday from 8 pm (T&T time).