The Philippine Army Dragon Boat Team secured its second gold medal by topping the Small Boat 10-seater 500-meter Premier Open in the 9th International Dragon Boat Federation (IDBF) Club Crews World Championships on Sunday night at the Standiana Bacin Regatta Course in Ravenna, Italy.
The Army paddlers submitted the fastest time of two minutes and 6.76 seconds to beat Germany’s All Sports Team Hannover (2:07.60) and Uckermark, which settled for silver and bronze, respectively.
Kurpfalz Dragons of Germany placed fourth in 2:12.62 followed by Sportsteam Hamburg also from Germany (2:13.30), Dragonmasters of Hungary (2:13.92), Dubai Diggers of the United Arab Emirates (2:14.40) and Persian Dragons of Iran (2:18.16).
The Filipinos made it to the finals after dominating the Heat 3 of the preliminary round in 2:07.66 and the Heat 3 of the semifinals in 2:08.59.
The Army paddlers earlier ruled the Small Boat 10-seater 200m Premier Open (48.92) over second-placer All Sports Team Hannover (49.46) and third-placer PG Mannheim-Germany (50.82).
The Army paddlers’ two-gold showing is a huge improvement from the country’s zero-medal performance in the eighth edition held in Hong Kong two years ago. Various local dragon boat clubs represented the country in the 2012 edition as the Philippine Army opted to skip due to financial constraints.