Filipino bobsledders make int’l debut in Europa Cup in Austria
MANILA, Phiilippines – Two members of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) became the first bobsledders from Southeast Asia to compete in the prestigious Europa Cup in Austria.
Quoting Consul Thelmo Cunanan Jr, president and CEO of the Philippine National Bobsled, Luge, and Skeleton Association, Incorporated (PNBLSA), the PCG said in a statement on Saturday, January 13, that Seaman First Class Rolando Isidro and Seaman Second Class Jeffrey dela Cruz joined the Europa Cup held at the Olympia Eiskanal in Igls, Tirol, Austria on January 5.
Cunanan, honorary Georgian consul, said the Philippine team got off to a rocky start but rallied and made a successful second run, finishing behind Japan. Germany dominated the event.
Organized by the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF), the Europa Cup is one of the world’s most prestigious and important annual bobsled competitions.
Isidro, the bobsled pilot; and Dela Druz, the brakeman, are assigned at Coast Guard Special Service Office. They were guest participants of the IBSF and Olympiaworld Innsbruck.
They joined teams from Germany, the United States, Austria, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Australia, Latvia, Serbia, Romania, Japan, and 2014 Olympic bobsled champion Russia.
Isidro and Dela Cruz will compete in the Austria Cup and the Tirol Cup before returning to the Philippines In March, Cunanan said.
The Filipino bobsledders, who were assigned with the PNBLSA in a partnership agreement with the PCG, had trained for the last 4 months at Olympiaworld Innsbruck, the highest sports authority in Austria, which provided the team with technical support and training.
Cunanan expressed optimism about the Philippines’ future success in bobsledding and also in the related sports of luge and skeleton.
“The objective of the PNBLSA is to further develop this sport and give our athletes more experience in the coming winter games seasons by training and competing in Beijing in 2022 and participating in other international competitions around the world,” he said. – Rappler.com