PH dragon boat team vies to defend world titles
MANILA, Philippines – No rest for the weary, after all.
Just a week after the 2018 Asian Games wrapped up in Indonesia, the members of the Philippine Canoe Kayak Dragonboat Federation (PCKDF) squad are already stretching their paddling muscles for another shot at international glory.
The Philippine dragon boat team composed of 23 paddlers will soon fly out to defend their two titles in the 2018 International Canoe Federation Dragon Boat World Championships from September 13 to 16 in Georgia, USA.
The gold-hunting rowers are bound to face the best paddlers from host USA, Russia, Hungary, Germany and France, which are tabbed as the countries to beat in the mixed 20-seater 200m, 500m and 2000m events.
Still, the Filipinos remain among the favored as the defending champions in the 200m and 500m events last held in Moscow, Russia two years ago.
PCKDF president Jonne Go encouraged the paddlers in the send-off on Friday, September 7, to not dwell on their empty-handed campaign in the Asiad as they face a new challenge abroad.
“As the federation says, ‘We always move forward,”’ she said. “So let’s forget whatever happened [in the Asiad]. That will always be part of our learning experience and rest assured that our athletes will continue to fight and give their best in every competition that we join.”
The national dragon boat men’s delegation settled for fifth place in both the 200m and 500m Asian Games finals. The women’s team were eliminated prior in the early round.
Head coach Len Escollante echoed Go’s statements and was just thankful for the support her team is getting from their backers and the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).
Here are the lineups for the world event:
Men’s team: Mark Jhon Frias, Ojay Fuentes, Hermie Macaranas, Norwell Cajes, John Lester Delos Santos, Oliver Manaig, Roberto Pantaleon, Lee Robin Santos, Jordan de Guia, Jonathan Ruz, John Paul Selencio, Roger Kenneth Masbate
Women’s team: Rosalyn Esguerra, Rhea Roa, Christine Mae Talledo, Sharmane Mangilit, Apple Jane Abitona, Raquel Almencion, Lealyn Baligasa, Glaiza Liwag, Maribeth Caranto