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Filipino dragon boat paddlers win gold medal in Tampa Bay

MANILA—Is being under-supported enough push to become a world champion and even a world-record holder?

Ask the cash-strapped Philippine Dragon Boat team as it let the paddling do the talking.

The team splashed its way to a third world title in the biennial International Dragon Boat Federation (IDBF) 10th World Dragon Boat Championships by winning the Premier 1000m event (small boat) in Tampa Bay, Florida Friday.

On the final round of, the Filipinos’ 4:57.13 clocking set a new world record for the event.

Australia won the silver medal (5:00.09), while Hungary captured the bronze (5:03.71) in the race no. 27 in day two of the 10th Worlds.

The win in the 1000m Premier event (small boats) is Philippines’ first gold medal at the 2011 Worlds thus far.

A small boat in dragon boat parlance has up to 10 paddlers while, a standard boat has up to 22 paddlers.

The Philippines won two gold medals at the 2009 Worlds in Prague, Czech Republic in standard boats (not small boats, as reported earlier by this contributor)—the 200m Premier Mixed and 200m Premier Open categories.

It was reported that the Filipinos will compete in small boat events—and not on standard boats, which means the the paddlers will not defend their world titles in the 200m Premier Mixed and 200m Premier Open categories using standard boats.

But a schedule of the races, though with many blanks yet to be filled, found on the Internet showed that the Philippines is competing in small boat events.

In the preliminary round (race no. 24 of scheduled races for the day), the Philippines topped the race with a 4:50.79 clocking with Australia (5:02.59), and Hungary (5:09.87) behind.

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