The Philippine Canoe Kayak Dragon Boat Federation (PCKDF) team made a big splash in the recently concluded 2017 Taiwan International Dragon Boat Championships in Taiwan.
PCKDF president Jonne Go said the men’s squad has been together for a long time and they used that to their advantage to cop four gold medals – one in record fashion.
“The team members were together for a long time already and that is one advantage that we have. The players really gelled together and we are very happy that they managed to beat their own record,” said Go during the weekly Philippine Sportswriters Association forum on Tuesday at the Golden Phoenix Hotel in Pasay City.
The men’s team bagged gold medals in the 200-meter and 500m small boat (10 seater) as well as in the 200m and 500m big boat (20 seater) categories.
The Filipino rowers also established a new time record of 40.16 seconds in the 20-seater men’s 200-m category, eclipsing their previous record they established in the 2014 ICF Dragon Boat World Championships in Poland, by 41-seconds.
The national team clocked in 40.48 seconds in the 200m big boat to beat Chinese Taipei’s Fitness Factory (43.57) and Taiwan’s Ludong Township (47.01), who settled for silver and bronze, respectively.
In the 200m small boat competition, the Philippines recorded 53.84 seconds to beat Taiwan (54.30) and Hong Kong (54.80).
Go said that this competition is part of their build-up for the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia.
“We sent a full men’s team to Taiwan because there’s no mixed category in the Asian Games. It is part of our plan to prepare them this early so they will get more international exposure,” added Go.
Despite using old equipment in the tournament, Go praised her players for beating their own record and showed improvement in their performance.
The team is composed of skipper Fernan Dungan, Hermie Macaranas, Alex Generalo, Ojay Fuentes, John Paul Selencio, Jordan de Guia, Raymart Nevado, Lee Robin Santos, Jonathan Ruz and Franc Feliciano, Oliver Manaig, Christian Urso, Lester Delos Santos, Jerome Solis, Kim Gabriel Borromeo, Robert Pantaleon, Jericho Noay, John James Pelagio, Christian Macayan, Arche Baylosis, Ryan Vidal and Roger Manlangit.
The national team is under the tutelage of coach Len Escollante and assistant coaches Mark Jhon Frias and Ricky Sardena.
JEAN RUSSEL V. DAVID