Pinoy paddlers eye domination in Asian Championship

ABS-CBN Sports on Sep 20, 2016 06:27 PM
Pinoy paddlers eye domination in Asian Championship
Members of the Philippine dragon boat team displayed the medals they collected last week in Russia.

The Philippine dragon boat team hopes to pick up from where it left off as it competes next in the 2016 Asian Championship on Nov. 11-12 in Puerto Princesa.

The Filipino paddlers are coming fresh from a three-gold, one-silver, and two-bronze medals campaign in last week’s ICF Dragon Boat World Championships in Moscow, Russia, a success they hope to extend in the two-day Asian campaign.

Although just an Asian level tournament, Philippine Canoe Kayak Federation president Jonnee Go expects the host country to have its hands full against some of the best dragon boat teams in the region.

“Asian countries are very tough competitors too, when it comes to dragon boat,” said Go Tuesday in the weekly Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum Tuesday at Shakey’s Malate.

The meet is a two-in-one competition as it also features the International Club Crew Championships on the second day.

“Malaking bagay ito para sa dragon boat and sa tourism na rin natin. We just want to showcase how good Filipinos are in paddling sports,” said Go, who was joined by coaches Len Escollante and Diomedes Manalo.

Go said the Philippines won the bidding to host the event over Malaysia and Iran.

Among the countries already confirmed to come over here include first-timer India, Iran, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China.

After the Asian meet, the Southeast Asian Dragon Boat Championships will be the next stop for the team in 2017 as the sport is not included in the calendar of events of the Kuala Lumpur Southeast Asian Games.

“Walang water sports kasi sa next SEA Games, kaya the different federations are just planning to have our own competitions by next year,” said Escollante.

“After the Asian Championships, tsaka namin malalaman kung saan and kailan ito,” she added.

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