PH wins more golds in Dragon Boat World Championships
The Philippines collected two more gold medals from the ICF Dragon Boat World Championships despite the frigid conditions at the Krylatskoe Olympic racing course in Moscow, Russia.
The Filipino paddlers nosed out the Russians in 50.8 seconds to rule the 10-seater mixed junior 200-meter event Monday and repeated over the host country in the 20-seater senior mixed 200m in 43.6 seconds later in the day.
After their feat in the 20-seater senior mixed 500m over the weekend, the national dragon boat squad has pocketed three gold, one silver and two bronze medals with three more events on tap for the country’s junior and senior paddlers.
Head coach Len Escollante, however, said they might forgo the participation in long-distance events such as the 2,000 meters for the 10-seater junior along with the big and small boat races for the mixed seniors.
“Unlike other countries, we don’t have the luxury of bringing more paddlers,” said Escollante. “We will be forced to enter the same set of paddlers that raced in previous 10- and 20-seater events.”
Escollante added the Filipinos had to endure the biting cold that brought numbness to their fingers during the races.
Joining the team that proudly waved the Philippine flag during the awarding ceremony were Philippine Canoe Kayak Federation president Jonne Go, secretary general Lea Ruanto and coach Diomedes Manalo. Their trip was bankrolled by the Philippine Sports Commission.
“Most of our junior paddlers, who are aged 18 years old and below, are first-timers on the international level,” said Go. “They showed a lot of promise that we can bank on in future tournaments.”
Russia clocked 52.49 seconds in the 10-seater mixed junior 200m and Canada placed third in 53.65 seconds. The Czech Republic, Germany and Ukraine also raced in the finals.
The Russians timed 45.54 in the senior mixed 500m for the silver after edging the Thais, who crossed the line in 45.55, in a deadheat.