PH paddlers face tough World stintBy Marc Anthony Reyes
Philippine Daily Inquirer
THE COBRA-PHILIPPINE Dragon Boat Federation, a smashing success two years ago in the small boat category, tries to make its mark in the tougher standard division of the International Dragon Boat Federation World Championships set July 24-28 in Szeged, Hungary.
“This time the sponsors want us to compete in the standard but we will still compete in small boat (10 paddlers, a drummer and a steerer) but in the women’s category only,” said PDBF president Marcia Cristobal.
She admitted that races in the standard boat where a team is composed of 20 paddlers, a drummer and a steerer are way more difficult than in small boat but added that they will do their best they can just like in the 2011 Worlds in Tampa Bay, Florida.
Two years ago, the team bucked the odds and became household names after bringing home five gold medals and two bronzes despite getting stripped of government subsidy a few months before.
But the PH paddlers only competed in small boats due to lack of personnel while other countries had separate sets of paddlers for each category.
The PH paddlers wound up winning the 1,000-meter premier open, 200m premier mixed and open, 500m premier mixed and open events.