THE oldest member of the Philippine national men’s rowing team is about to retire.
After a 22-year stint, Benjamin Tolentino told his coach Ed Maerina that the he would like to give way a younger generation of rowers, who are trying to make it to the national team.
“May 22 years na ako sa national team. Gusto ko pa rin mag-compete, pero I have to give way na to the young ones,” said the 44-year-old Tolentino.
Young rowers are trying to make their mark in the sport and in order to give these bets a chance to make it, Tolentino is retiring from the sport, he said in a radio interview.
Tolentino added that he can always join the coaching staff to make way for them.
“Sabi ko sa coaches, gusto ko sa coaching na lang ako para mai-share ko ang mga natutunan ko,” said Tolentino, who has been joining the Asian Games since 1998.
He also made waves in other international meets.
Early this year, Tolentino and Edgar Ilas bagged the bronze medal in the lightweight doubles’ event in the 2015 Southeast Asian Games in Singapore.
With Tolentino out, Nestor Cordova will be the only experienced rower left in the national squad at age 39.
National rowers are set to join a three-month training camp in China under the World Rowing Federation and the Asian Rowing Federation program.
The camp is part of the athletes’ preparation for the Asian Games in Indonesia next year.