Chow making most of Olympic swansong

Felice Aisha Chow is determined to make the most of her second Olympic outing. Chow is in her mid-40s, and knows her competitive career is coming to an end. The Trinidad and Tobago rower is hoping to close off her Olympic chapter on a high here in Tokyo, Japan.

“The ultimate goal at the Olympics,” Chow told the Sunday Express, “is to have all good races. I am 44, and it’s a lot because I juggle training and work, so this is it. It’s about having the best races I could have, and where I end up is where I end up. I’m not going to be on the podium, let me just say that, but I could still have the best races possible.”

At the 2016 Rio Olympics, Chow finished 22nd in the Women’s single sculls event. At Tokyo 2020, she is assured of at least a top-24 spot, after winning her repechage race at Sea Forest Waterway, late on Friday (T&T time). Chow stopped the clock at eight minutes, 15.94 seconds. She returned to the water after press time, last night, to do battle in the third quarter-final.

“I am hoping to do better than my ranking last time in Rio, but I don’t have control over that. The only control I have is I know I’m way faster than five years ago, so it’s to race as fast as I can and let the chips fall where they fall in terms of where I place. But each time I’ll race my best. That’s all I could do. That’s the plan.”

Chow said her Rio experience was an eye-opener.

“After 2016, it was amazing. I just saw these incredibly dedicated athletes. I hadn’t been training like that. I was a recreational athlete, so it was a surprise for me to be in the Olympics. I wasn’t prepared, I didn’t have the mindset, I didn’t have that kind of focus, and it was amazing to see the dedication of the other, more experienced athletes.

“So, for me,” Chow continued, “the last five years was about trying to become like some of those women I really, really admire, trying to become as dedicated. I gave it my all for the last five years. I don’t know when you start to go downhill, but I’m 44 so I figure the plateau has to be real soon. I can’t make another three years. I don’t plan to keep training at that level, so yeah, this is it.”

Chow intends to savour every remaining Olympic moment.

“These are my last races, so I’m going to try to enjoy each one, do the best I can, and then leave happy. In trying to motivate me, my husband (Dan Kaplan) said ‘you’ve been training, you put all this money in the bank, but you have to realise that all the money is yen so you have to spend all of it in Japan’. Basically, give it my all and be happy with that.”

Team TTO cyclist Teniel Campbell is competing in the Women’s road race early this morning (T&T time). Sailor Andrew Lewis in on the water for races one and two in the Men’s Laser class. Race three is scheduled for 11.05 tonight, and will be followed by the fourth race.

Swimmer Dylan Carter opens his Tokyo 2020 campaign at 6.54 this morning in heat two of the Men’s 100 metres backstroke. And at 12.24 tomorrow morning, boxer Aaron Prince squares off against Slovakia’s Andrej Csemez in a Men’s Middleweight round of 32 bout.