LUKANG, Taiwan – Gilas Pilipinas isn’t the only Philippine team currently winning in Taiwan.
The Philippines continues to be a powerhouse in international Dragon Boat racing, earning 3 first place finishes at the 2015 Taiwan International Dragon Boat Championships at the Fu Lu River in Lukang, Taiwan, which took place from August 29-30.
The 44 members of the race crew, composed of non-professional athletes, bested over 20 teams from countries such as Taiwan and Hong Kong. Some teams had multiple nationalities in their roster.
Despite heavy rains, and chilling winds throughout the weekend, the Manila Dragons finished strong, placing in all categories it joined:
1st Place, 200m Mixed 12-man Crew, Minor Finals
1st Place, 200m Mixed 22-man Crew, Minor Finals
2nd Place, 500m Mixed 12-man Crew, Minor Finals
1st Place, 500m Mixed 12-man Crew, Grand Finals
3rd Place, 500m Mixed 22-man Crew, Grand Finals
It took many months for the team, composed mostly of employees working in banking, mutinationals, IT, BPO and government, as well as entrepreneurs, teachers, students, homemakers and even breast cancer survivors, to achieve this feat.
(READ: Philippine Army wins gold at Japan Dragon Boat Championships)
The team trained 4 times a week in Manila Bay, under the guidance of its coaches, Augusto Dequilla and Sid Isidro, both ex-national athletes of the sport who have crafted programs to transform everyday professionals into competitive paddlers.
“We are overwhelmed with our performance in this race. Being given this rare opportunity to represent the country and to experience bringing honor and pride to the Philippines is so surreal!” said Jaime Mendejar, Manila Dragons’ Team Manager.
Another team from the Philippines – the UP Dragonboat Team – likewise placed in the competition, finishing 3rd in the 200m Mixed 12-man Crew, Minor Finals, 4th in the 200m Mixed 22-man Crew, Major Finals and 3rd in the 500m Mixed 22-man Crew, Minor Finals. – Rappler.com
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