Philippine Canoe Kayak Dragon Boat Federation president Jonne Go will plead with organizers of the 18th Asian Games to give her dragon boat paddlers at least an extra day of practice for them to get the feel of the competition venue.
Just like in almost every sport, the organizers have limited practice times for all teams other than their own. For the dragon boat squads, they were allowed only one day of practice on Saturday at the Jakabaring Sports City Lake in Palembang, Indonesia.
“I got a text from coach Lenlen (Escollante) informing me that we are only allowed to train on the 24th, or one day before the competition,” Go said shortly after she arrived here last Monday. “Nagtataka ako kung bakit.
“I have always said that the host country will always have the advantage, but one-day training for other countries for me is not reasonable,” she added. “Dapat at least two to three days. Even if you ask the countries they will say the same.”
Go explained that one day would not be enough “to familiarize with the race conditions: the weather, the water and the lanes.”
Thinking that they would have at least an extra day of workouts, Escollante and the Pinoy paddlers were scheduled to arrive on Wednesday.
Go pointed out that this problem did not occur during the team’s stints in the 2010 Guangzhou, adding that she has already asked the assistance of deputy chef de mission Manny Cabili to take the issue up with the meet organizers.
The Philippines did not medal in the 2010 games, while the event was scrapped during the Incheon Games.
“We did not experience in Guangzhou and Incheon so we were not also expecting this,” she said.
“After all, this is sports.”