Philippine Army Dragon Warriors made their presence felt in the prestigious 2016 IDBF World Club Crew Dragon Boat Championships as they ruled the 2,000m small boat premier open on Tuesday at the Ramsay Regatta Course in Adelaide, Australia.
The Army Dragon Warriors submitted the fastest time of 10 minutes and 0.570 second to grab the country’s first gold medal in the tournament organized by the International Dragon Boat Federation.
“My team has now proven that it can dominate in the 2,000 meter event after a series of failures in the past world championships. Our rigorous training and the outstanding camaraderie and discipline of our crew members have paid off,” said Philippine Army Dragon Warriors President Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc.
Canada’s Pickering Dragon Boat Club settled for silver with a time of 10:01.970 while United Arab Emirates’ Dubai Diggers earned the bronze in 10:08.590.
Australia-Melbourne Flames placed fourth with 10:22.280 followed by United States-Space Dragons (10:24.990), New Zealand-Lion (10:29.850), Hungary-Black Peark Dragon Boat Team (11:09.520) and China-Top Express J Dragon (11:11.580).
The Army Dragon Warriors will be seeing action next in short distance races as they defend their crowns in the 500m small boat premier open and 200m small boat premier open.
In the 2014 edition held in Ravenna, Italy, the Army Dragon Warriors smashed world records in winning gold medals in those events – and were tagged as “the fastest dragon boat crew in the world.”
“We will do our best to maintain our excellent performance in the sprints (500m and 200m) that will be held in the next two days,” added Cabunoc.
The members of the team are Usman Anterola, Romy John Demonteverde, Joemar Ocquiana, Ronald Tan, Salvador Sumagaysay, Rodrigo Tanuan Jr., Gil Gonzales, Reyjel Paranque, Alvin Sabijon, Rey Rizada, Jayson Dela Cruz, Hardy Pabulayan, Isagani Bayson, Resty Levantino, Ivory Bayson, Meldred Espinas, Riza Canonoy, Katrina Garcia and Glyniz Teodoro.
EMIL C. NOGUERA