Looking back, the Philippine dragon-boat team said it got the raw end of the deal in the recent Asian Games held in Palembang, Indonesia.
Local organizers allegedly used a different kind of boat with a deeper hull that favored taller paddlers, which put the Filipinos at a disadvantage.
The boats failed to meet the technical specifications of the International Canoe Federation, the world governing body for the sport under the International Olympic Committee, according to Philippine Canoe Kayak Dragonboat Federation president Jonne Go.
Hence, the Filipinos went home without a medal.
But they quickly recovered from a frustrating campaign in Indonesia by winning five gold and two silver medals in the recent ICF World Dragon Boat Championship in Gainesville, Georgia.
Team captain Hermie Macaranas said: “I’m confident that we can win most of the gold medals if the races are organized fair and square.”
The team now looks forward to the 30th Southeast Asian Games next year, where they eye a measure of redemption.
Scratched out from the initial list of 30 sports to be played in the 11-nation biennial tournament, the Filipino paddlers hope they get the green light to compete once the Philippine Olympic Committee moves to finalize the calendar of events.
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