The Cobra-Philippine Dragon Boat Federation team, which struck gold in its three previous stints, could only come up with two silver and the same number of bronze medals in the recent IDBF World Championships in Szeged, Hungary.
The team, which seized five gold medals and two silvers two years ago, offered no excuse for its performance that was below expectations.
“It was a very tough race all the way,” said PDBF president Marcia Cristobal referring to the competitions where the Filipinos were upstaged by Southeast Asian rival Thailand, which romped off with two gold medals.
One of the victories by Thailand, which didn’t make a ripple in the past Worlds, even came at the expense of the Philippines, in the 200-meter small boat for women.
The Thais clocked 55.12 seconds for the title, beating the PH paddlers who timed 56.26 seconds. Chinese Taipei (57.40), Great Britain (58.34), Trinidad and Tobago (1:00.56) and Puerto Rico (1:03.01) rounded out the top six.
The country also missed the gold in standard boat mixed, finishing behind China, but ahead of Canada, United States, Australia and Czech Republic, respectively.
The Thais’ domination of the small boat short distances has alarmed the Filipinos, who used to be untouchable in the event in the biennial competitions.
Thailand ruled the 500m women’s small boat with a time of 2:24.20, beating Chinese Taipei (2:29.62) and the Philippines (2:29.89). Great Britain (2:30.92) and Trinidad and Tobago (2:39.78) were fourth to sixth.
The country’s other bronze came from the 200m standard mixed, where it timed 47.49 behind winner China (46.46) and Canada (47.04). Finishing fourth to sixth were Germany (48.45), Czech Republic (48.52) and Ukraine (49.53).
“It was the first time that we competed in the women’s category. Not a bad start winning a silver and a bronze in those events,” added Cristobal.