Thursday, May 23, 2024
HomeSportHome support for PH paddlers as Puerto Princesa hosts Worlds

Home support for PH paddlers as Puerto Princesa hosts Worlds

Home support for PH paddlers as Puerto Princesa hosts Worlds

The Philippines Dragon Boat Team practices for the 28th SEA Games at the Kallang River near the Singapore Sports Hub. INQUIRER PHOTO/RAFFY LERMA

The Philippine dragon boat team celebrated with less fanfare when Filipino paddlers ruled the World Championships on foreign waters a few years back.

It will be an entirely different thing later this year after the Philippines sealed the hosting of the International Canoe Federation (ICF) Dragon Boat World Championships in Puerto Princesa City.

“It was the best time for Philippine dragon boat when we won five gold medals during the 2018 edition of the world championships,’’ said Philippine Canoe Kayak Dragonboat Federation (PCKDF) president Leonora Escollante.

Filipino paddlers snagged the overall title during the 2018 worlds held at Lake Lanier Olympic Park in Gainesville, Georgia, United States by topping the 10-seater and 20-seater senior mixed 200-meter and 500-m races.

At that time, they also brought home silver medals in the big boat mixed 2000 m and small boat men’s 500 m.

The national dragon boat squad under the PCKDF passed up the chance to defend the title during the 2022 world champs held in Racice, Czech Republic, due to the global pandemic brought about by COVID-19.

Loaded field

“This early, we already surpassed the participation of the previous World Championships and more countries are anticipated to come over with the competition still six months away,’’ said Escollante, who got the complete backing of the ICF and Puerto Princesa City in mounting the biggest international sports spectacle of the year for the country.

Besides Team Philippines, bets from the United States, Canada, Spain, Czech Republic, Germany, Sweden, Hungary and France have already confirmed as part of at least 20 countries to easily erase the 2022 roster of 15 nations.

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