PH team paddles to victory in Beijing dragon boat tourney

BEIJING, China — The Philippine Canoe Kayak Dragon Boat National Team bagged both the grand prize and the third place in the 2018 Beijing International Dragon Boat Invitational Tournament on June 9.

The 28-man Filipino dragon boat team was divided into two groups to compete for a small boat 500 meter mixed team category.

The Philippine Team A won the first place with a total time of 2 minutes and 13 seconds. Host country, China, secured the s6econd place with 2 minutes and 22 seconds, while the Philippine Team B earned the third place with 2 minutes and 22 seconds.

According to Philippine Canoe Kayak Dragon Boat team leader Hermie Macaranas, this is the first time that the national team joined the Beijing International Dragon Boat Tournament.

Macaranas said they never imagined winning the tournament, especially with various strong dragon boat teams from China, Russia, Taiwan and Ukraine.

“We were really nervous especially that it was a close fight in the elimination and semifinals. We didn’t expect that both our teams would qualify for the finals, what more about winning and dominating all 11 countries in the competition,” Macaranas said in Filipino.

The competition is also the team’s preparation for the upcoming competition of the national team in Dragon Boat Asian Games in Indonesia this coming August.

“Actually, the competition was also our preparation for the upcoming games in Palembang, Indonesia. That’s dubbed as the Asian Games of the Dragon boat. This serves as our exposure and training as well,” he added.

The Philippine team will head to Shenzhen for another dragon boat tournament on Tuesday, June 12. Greggy Eugenio/