PH bags 7 medals in 2012 World Dragon Boat

By Zita Baron, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau

Posted at Sep 04 2012 12:07 AM | Updated as of Sep 04 2012 07:46 PM

MILAN, Italy -- The Philippine Canoe Kayak Federation (PCKF) bagged 6 gold, 1 silver at the just concluded 2012 Dragon Boat World Championship held here.

The 7 awards were from 7 categories the Philippine Team competed in during the 4-day world competition organized by the International Canoe Federation, the world-governing body in canoeing and kayaking.

Small but speedy Pinoy rowers beat the bulky contenders including the Russians who were believed to be the toughest.

Although the team's strongest point was its agility, the national team also bagged the gold at the 10 paddlers pursuit race of 2000 meters, leaving the powerful Swedish rowers behind by 7 seconds.

Germany was third to arrive followed by the famous Russians.

Pinoy rowers left the bigger athletes stunned of the stamina and speed they possessed.

Armed not just with confidence and determination, team coach Manny Maya said that they wished to give the Philippines the glory.

“Iniaalay po namin ang tagumpay na ito sa Pilipinas. Ang lahat po ng tagumpay na ito, paghihirap sa training namin, para bigyan ng karangalan ang bansa natin”, Maya said.

PCKF head Lean Escollante thanked everyone who supported the team.

“Maraming, maraming salamat sa Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Olympic Commitee, sa mga Pilipino dito sa Milan, maraming-maraming salamat.”

Milan-based Pinoys, including the consulate who witnessed the events, were very amazed of the team's performance. They made them proud to be Filipinos.

“Kakaiba po talaga ang galing ng Pinoy, watching them is truly an experience," Vice Consul Helen Anne Sayo said.

Raul Francisco, an OFW, said watching the Philippine team as they raced made him nervous.

“Kapag dumadating na yun mga atleta, umaalog po yun aming dugo, kumbaga dugong Pilipino. Maluwag po ang aming ano, kaya masaya ang aming kalooban, lalo lalo na sa mga Pilipinong naririto. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas! Francisco said.

The team is scheduled to return to the Philippines on Tuesday, September 4.