Trinidad and Tobago’s rower Aisha Chow took to the waters at Lagoa Stadium in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, yesterday to continue her training ahead of her Olympic start on Saturday. Her manager, Merryl See Tai, in an interview with Newsday, said they are hoping things get a bit rough for her rivals when rowing begins.
See Tai explained that if the conditions are rough, Chow may surprise the rest of the field. “She normally trains in the San Francisco Bay (in the United States) so she is quite use to rougher conditions whereas some of these athletes won’t go out on the water if it starts getting rough at their normal training venues. That will be an advantage for her if it turns out to be rough.” Chow is the first Trinidad and Tobago rower to qualify for the Olympics and See Tai said it is a great feeling.
“It’s all very exciting. It’s not like she is under a lot of pressure here because when we went to Chile for the qualifier nobody was expecting anything of her at all so it was quite a surprise.
We realise that there are people here that have been professional athletes for 15 years and they are going to be very difficult (to defeat).
But if conditions are right then we can expect a lot from Aisha.” See Tai added that they are being careful concerning the conditions of the waters in Rio leading into the 2016 Olympics, which will be officially declared open tomorrow.
The waterways in Rio are contaminated with human sewage and various bacteria and viruses which has raised concerns over the health of the athletes in Rio. Chow will compete in the single scull rowing event at the Lagoa Stadium.
See Tai said he has not heard of anybody being sick. “We are being very careful. Lagoa is not as bad as some of the other water venues.
Just yesterday there was a bulletin out which indicated that things like faecal coliform were at really acceptable levels, very low levels, and we have not heard of anybody here being sick or having any sort of problems like that.” There are also concerns for national sailor Andrew Lewis who will also compete at the Olympics.
See Tai said the atmosphere in Brazil has been friendly which has allowed Chow to acclimatise. “Everyone here has been really warm and welcoming.
There has been some hiccups with facilities not quite ready but we are here to do the best we can and not make an unncessary fuss about things like that.
“We’ve had very hot days, like yesterday (Tuesday) was very hot and today (Wednesday) is very cool. Of course the athletes are really happy for the cool conditions because it allows them to put out a little more.” See Tai said Chow’s boat is now in good condition after it was damaged. “The boat she has been using was actually trailered here from the qualifier in Chile, so we were concerned about damage to a number of pieces of equipment on the boat. We did have some damage but we have had some really great assistance from some of the people who are here representing various manufacturers. There have been really kind to us and very helpful and we think we have the boat in a pretty good condition now.”