MILAN, Italy. The Philippine Canoe Kayak Federation (PCKF) placed 4th at the 2012 Dragon Boat World Championship held in a man-made river, Idroscalo here on August 30-September 2, 2012.
PCKF bagged 6 gold,1 silver 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 toughest Russians.
Eighty-member team Russia ranked first, bagging 14 gold, 7 silver. Canada placed second with 9 gold, 3 silver and 2 bronze medals. Hungary was third with 7 gold,12 silver and 7 bronze.
Philippines went home with 6 gold, 1 silver.
Although the team's strongest point is its agility, the national team also snatched 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 famous Russians.
Pinoy rowers made the bigger athletes stunned of the stamina and speed they possesed.
Armed not just with confidence and determination, team coach Manny Maya said that they wished to give the Philippines the pride and glory.
“Iniaalay po namin ang tagumpay na ito sa Pilipinas. Ang lahat po ng tagumpay na ito, paghihirap sa training namin, ay para bigyan ng karangalan ang bansa natin”, Maya stressed.
PCKF Head Lean Escollante on the hand, 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 officials and employees who witnessed the event 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.
And for Raul Francisco, an OFW, 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 returned home on September 4, 2012. (by: Zita Baron – Photos by: United Pinoygraphers Club – UPC)