Two Philippine crews flexed their muscles in the prestigious 2013 Macau International Dragon Boat Race early this month. And both crews figured well in the highly-competitive match that saw the participation of 36 select crews from different countries across the world.
The Philippine Army, fresh from its victories in the local sprint races in Manila and Bohol recently, and a crack selection from the different clubs under the Philippine Dragon Boat Federation reached the finals in the 500 meter event. Pitted against bigger and brawnier national players from countries such as Indonesia and China, the Philippine Army Dragon Boat Team finished a very close third, while the Philippine Dragon Boat Federation Selection finished a credible 4th in the medal standings. The result of the men’s 500m finals were as follows:
Champion – Indonesia National Team – 1 min, 53. 399 sec
1st runner-up – China Nanhai Jiujiang – 1 min, 53. 567 sec
2nd runner-up – PDBF Army DBT – 1 min, 54. 635 sec
3rd runner-up – PDBF Elite Team – 1 min, 57. 173 sec
4th runner-up – China Dianli – 1 min, 57. 791 sec
5th runner-up -Macau National Team – 2 min, 00. 251 sec
The Macau International Dragon Boat Race is a ‘by-invitation only’ tournament that features the best crews in both the men’s and women’s categories. There is only one distance event at stake here, and that’s the 500 meters middle distance event. The Army, proven specialists in the 200 meter sprints, led from the start to the 400-meter flag, before fading to the Indons and the Chinese in the battle of the finishing kicks. It will however be noted that they were only beaten by the Indonesian National team and the Chinese Nanhai Juijiang Team, which was likewise composed mostly of national players as well. The 3rd and 4th place finish of the Philippine crews then were a good test in preparation for the World Championships to be held in Hungary soon. Indeed, a selection of the best and brightest prospects from the Army, as well as the powerhouse crews from the Coast Guard, Lake Buhi, Triton and the rest, will make our chances for the gold much better.
PDBF President, Ms Marcia Cristobal, announced that the PDBF has started preparing for the Hungary Games. This is the same championship in Tampa in 2011 where the Philippine Team became the toast of the Games, bringing in a 5-gold medal harvest. Let us rally behind the Philippine Team as they prepare to defend the crown they won in Tampa. Paddles up!!!