The Philippines claimed two more gold medals in the 2018 ICF World Dragon Boat Championships by winning the 10-seater and 20-seater senior mixed 200-meter races held at the Lake Lanier Olympic Park in Gainesville, Georgia, USA.
Led by veteran paddlers Hermie Macaranas and Mark Jhon Frias, the Filipinos sprinted to the finish with a sudden burst of speed in the final 50 meters for a 50.46-second clocking in the small boat that drew admiration from their world-class rivals.
France settled for the silver medal in 53.056 seconds and towed third-placer Hungary (53.158), host United States (53.463), Italy (53.9) and Germany (54.437).
“On a shorter course such as the 200m, you need produce faster and powerful strokes to become successful,” said coach Diomedes Manalo after the Philippine Canoe Kayak Dragonboat Federation paddlers surpassed their medal tally in 2016 Moscow, Russia.
The Pinoy paddlers followed the game plan precisely to capture their fourth gold in the big boat, clocking 43.481 seconds to subdue Czech Republic (46.082) and United States (46.146).
Hungary placed fourth (46.791), followed by Germany (48.040) and Canada (50.242).
Besides the four gold medals, the national team – supported by the Philippine Sports Commission and Go For Gold – has also pocketed two silvers in the small boat senior men’s 500m and big boat senior mixed 2000m race, respectively.
“Congratulations to our dragon boat athletes for improving on their medal tally from their last world championship,’’ said Go For Gold top honcho Jeremy Go. “Despite all the struggle and adversity, our team has come out on top and continues to impress.’’
They defended the 20-seater senior mixed 500m title with aplomb after kicking off their world championship campaign with a convincing win in the 10-seater senior mixed 500m event.
The Pinoy paddlers remain on track to secure another gold medal in the 10-seater senior men 200m on Sunday (Monday in Manila).
Jordan De Guia, John Paul Selencio, Lee Robin Santos, Jonathan Ruz, Daniel Ortega, Reymart Nevado, John Lester Delos Santos will join hands with Christine Mae Talledo, Sharmaine Mangilit, Apple Jane Abitona, Raquel Almencion, and Lealyn Baligasa in the big boat senior mixed 200m.
Maribeth Caranto has been designated as steersman and Patricia Ann Bustamante as drummer.
During their world championship campaign two years ago, the Filipinos brought home three gold medals, one silver, and a pair of bronzes.
In the master division, the Philippines pocketed a pair of bronze medals in the small boat men’s and mixed 200m races.