Gallant silver for PH rowers
GAINESVILLE, Georgia— The Philippines nearly brought the toughest European countries to their knees in a pair of thrilling races in the 2018 ICF Dragon Boat World Championships.
Favored Hungary held off a gutsy Filipino crew by just a second and timed two minutes and five seconds to rule the 10-seater senior men’s 500-meter race before a huge Friday crowd at Lake Lanier Olympic Park here.
That paddlers sent by the Philippine Canoe Kayak Dragonboat Federation (PCKDF) crossed the line in 2:06 to settle for the silver, a feat duplicated by the 20-seater senior mixed team in the 2000m race later in the afternoon.
Threatening to overtake the Americans halfway through the course, the Filipinos lost precious time when the United States cut into their path in the final turn, allowing the Czech Republic a clear path to the gold.
“We could have been four or five seconds faster if not for that unfortunate sequence of events on the last turn,” said PCKDF president Jonne Go. “Still, I’m proud of what the team has accomplished today.”
Czech Republic, which got off first at the starting line, sprinted to the finish after the last bend and clocked eight minutes and 42.47 seconds.
The Philippines placed second in 8:43.98 and Hungary arrived third in 8:46.22.
Overall, the Filipino paddlers, whose participation is backed by Go For Gold and the Philippine Sports Commission, have two gold medals and a pair of silvers.
They are also eyeing the finals of the 20-seater 200m senior mixed category and the small boat 200m senior mixed and senior men on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).
Jordan De Guia, John Lester delos Santos, Miflone Puzon, Jerome Solis, Franc Feliciano, Mark Jhon Frias, Loberstan Duayao, John James Pelagio and Arche Baylosis will lead the big boat 200m senior mixed.
Steerer Maribeth Caranto and drummer Patricia Ann Bustamante will join them along with lady paddlers Apple Jane Abitona, Raquel Almencion and Lealyn Baligasa.