PH rowers: Let us join SEAG, we’ll mine golds
After recently ruling the world, the Philippine dragonboat team feels it deserves the chance to perform at home when the country hosts the 30th Southeast Asian Games next year.
Scratched out from the initial list of 30 sports to be played in the 11-nation biennial meet, the Filipino paddlers are hoping for a second look when the Philippine Olympic Committee convenes to finalize the calendar of events.
“I’m confident that we can win most of the gold medals if the races are organized fair and square,” team captain Hermie Macaranas told the Inquirer.
According to Philippine Canoe Kayak Dragonboat Federation president Jonne Go, the boats in the Asian Games failed to meet the technical specifications of the International Canoe Federation, the world governing body for the sport under the International Olympic Committee.
Macaranas explained that during the Games in Palembang, Indonesian organizers used a boat with a deeper hull that favored taller paddlers.
The Philippines thus ended up empty-handed in Indonesia but bounced back by winning five golds and two silvers in the recent ICF Dragon Boat World Championship in Gainesville, Georgia.
The country bettered its 2012 mark of five golds and one silver in Milan, Italy.
Despite the team’s accomplishments, stakeholders allied with the Philippine Dragon Boat Federation continue to belittle the PCKDF.
A PDBF supporter ridiculed the five gold medals of the Philippines in his blog, mocking the Filipino paddlers for flopping at the Asian Games.
The Philippine Olympic Committee continues to recognize the PCKDF. The Philippine Sports Commission, meanwhile, honors the POC recognition and extends financial support to PCKDF.
“We try not to get affected by these bashers. We even used their criticisms as motivation for us to win those gold medals,” said Macaranas.
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