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After triumphant year, PH paddlers turn focus on Asian Games

/ 06:48 PM December 06, 2016
Pinoy paddlers got 3 gold medals in the ongoing 2016 Asian Dragonboat Championships here in Puerto Princesa. Photo by June Navarro

Pinoy paddlers got 3 gold medals in the ongoing 2016 Asian Dragonboat Championships here in Puerto Princesa. Photo by June Navarro

After ruling the 2016 Asian Dragon Boat Championships in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, the Philippine Canoe-Kayak Dragon Boat Federation (PCKDBF) is not slowing down in preparation for bigger competitions ahead.

“If our opponents are training hard for us, I don’t see why we shouldn’t train harder than them,” said
coach Len Escollante on Tuesday in the weekly PSA Forum at Shakey’s Malate.

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The national dragon boat team is coming off a triumphant campaign in Palawan, where the paddlers netted five golds and three silvers.

The Filipino paddlers ruled in the 20-seater 500-meter men’s, 200-meter men’s, 10-seater 200-meter men’s, 10-seater 200-meter women’s, and 10-seater 500-meter junior mixed races.

They also placed second in the 10-seater 500-meter men’s, 10-seater 500-meter women’s, and 10-seater 200-meter junior mixed competitions.

“We surpassed coach Len’s prediction that we will win three golds,” said PCKDBF president Jonne Go, who was also the newly-elected auditor of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC).

Seeing the success of the national dragon boat team, Go shared that other countries including Russia have taken notice and are interested in setting up friendly races next year.

“They wanted to come here and have a friendly matchup. They want to prove that they’re at par with us but we want to prove that our win in their waters are no fluke,” Go said, alluding to the Philippines’ haul in the 2016 ICF World Dragon Boat Championships in Moscow.

But she said that the main focus for the team next year is to train for the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia.

“We want to focus our training for the 2018 Asian Games,” said Go.

Escollante also agreed, saying, “We are aiming for the overall championship in the 2018 Asian Games.”

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