MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Dragon Boat Federation team triumphed once more in the International Dragon Boat Federation World Championships in Tampa Bay, Florida.
The dragon boat team won the last event of the world championships, the 500-m event in the men’s small boat division.
Their latest victory gave the Filipino paddlers their 5th gold medal, bringing their total haul to 7 medals – 5 golds and 2 silvers.
In heat 1 of the event, the dragon boat team defeated Japan and Trinidad and Tobago with a time of 2:38 to advance to the finals.
In the finals, the Filipino paddlers once again stamped their class, smoking Australia, Japan, Italy and Puerto Rico to take the gold.
Australia placed second in the event while Japan came in third.
The Dragon Warriors also set new world records in all of the events that they won: the 1000-m men's event, the 200-m men's event, the 500-m men's event, the 200-m mixed event, and the 500-m mixed event.
The Filipinos in Tampa Bay went all out in their support of the team.
Everyday during the week-long competition, Filipinos cheered on the athletes in every event that they competed in.
The Filipino community also brought food and drinks for the champion athletes.
The PDBF team were grateful for the support that their fellow Filipinos gave them.
Admiration from opponents
Even the other dragon boat teams could not help but be amazed at Filipinos' achievements.
"Phenomenal team. We kept trying to keep with them, we aspire to be like them," said a member of the Trinidad and Tobago team. "They are our heroes."
The dragon boat team will stay in Tampa Bay for 2 more days. They are set to fly back to Los Angeles on Wednesday, and are scheduled to arrive in Manila on Friday morning. -- Report from Dyan Castillejo, ABS-CBN News