Palawan’s capital city of Puerto Princesa will be the venue of two major international boat tournaments next month.
The Asian Dragon Boat Championship is scheduled on November 11 to 12, while the Puerto Princesa International Club Crew Championship will be held on November 12 to 13.
In an interview with Sports Radio on Wednesday, national coach Len Escollante said the office of the city mayor is giving its full support for the successful hosting of the tournaments organized by the Philippine Canoe Dragon Boat Federation (PCDF).
An estimated 1,000 paddlers are expected to join the two tournaments, which the Philippines is hosting for the first time.
Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Japan, Iran, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Brunei and Singapore have confirmed their participation in the Asian Dragon Boat Championship while teams from Germany and the United States will lead the participants in the International Club Crew competition.
Technical officials from the PCDF are already in Palawan while the boats to be used by the participating teams have been shipped.
PCDF President Jonne Go said that aside from the competitors, top officials of the Asian Canoe Confederation (ACC) will come over for the ACC Congress, which will coincide with the holding of the Asian Dragon Boat Championship.
The national women’s team is currently training in Puerto Princesa while the men’s squad will leave for Palawan next week.
The Philippine teams are coming off a successful stint at the International Canoe Federation Dragon Boat World Championships in Russia last month. They won three golds, one silver and two bronzes.
Escollante said the Asian Dragon Boat Championship will gauge the performance of the Filipino paddlers, who will see action in the 2018 Asian Games scheduled from Aug. 18 to Sept. 2 in Jakarta and Palembang in Indonesia.