We’d like to congratulate the Cobra Energy Drink for its magnanimity in once again taking the cudgels for our beleaguered Philippine Dragon Boat Team that is scheduled to wage war with the world’s best dragon-boaters in the 11th IDBF World Dragon Boat Championship in Szeged, Hungary this 24-26 July.
This team was dubbed as “an inspiration to the nation” by no less than President Ninoy Aquino way back in 2011 when they made waves in the 10th IDBF World Dragon Boat Championships in Tampa, Florida. Undermanned and without the support of the POC, the team brought home 5 golds and 2 silvers in a dazzling performance inspired by the local Pinoys in Tampa. It has been three years, and no action has been done to correct the Philippine Dragon Boat anomaly.
The country proudly holds the world record in two categories in the IDBF World Dragon Boat Championships. In the 200m standard Premier Men’s at 40.02 secs; and the 200m standard Premier Mixed at 43.50 secs. It will be noted that the event is considered the Olympics of International Dragon Boating. It is this championship, and not the International Canoe Federation (ICF) -initiated ‘World Championship’, that holds water. The Cobra-sponsored team will this time be competing in the standard categories for both premier and mixed races. They will also compete in the small boat (12 pax) women’s category. PDBF President Marcia Cristobal said: “The Philippines possesses this strong, dedicated and highly motivated team of rowers who aim to conquer bigger and tougher challenges for the country.”
Beyond doubt, because of our country’s archipelagic nature, the Philippines has loads of talent to form highly-competitive teams in international dragon-boating. Our team wowed then in Tampa, despite the lack of support. Another selection, this time from the Philippine Canoe Kayak Federation (PCKF), gained similar excellent results in an ICF international competition in Italy. We will be pitting paddles in Hungary once again with one hand tied behind our back; that is, without government support and without the other half of an otherwise formidable team. Such is the irony of our fate. In a sport where we can truly excel in, we choose to penalize ourselves.
Our sincere thanks therefore goes to the Cobra Energy Drink and its key leaders, for having fearlessly stood their ground to provide support for our Dragonistas. Jeff Mendoza, senior brand manager of Cobra, noted: “We have been giving them 100% support since 2009. We have strong faith in their abilities and determination.” Cobra Energy Drink, with its new mantra – ‘Lakas ng Pinas’ – fulfills the hopes and dreams of our athletes to compete and gain glory, not just for themselves, but for our country. Let us wish them well, so that they, in turn, may give more pride and inspiration to our people.
And let us pray that our sports leaders finally find the wisdom and the selflessness to solve the divism that has threatened to destroy our illustrious standing in a sport where we have the best chance to rule the world.
For more on this topic, please read: https://cbholganzablog.wordpress.com/2013/07/03/pdbf-gears-for-dragon-boating-world-championship-in-hungary/