Philippine Navy gears up for AFP-PNP Olympics

MANILA — The Philippine Navy dragon boat team is getting ready to defend the men’s title in the upcoming Armed Forces of the Philippines-Philippine National Police (AFP-PNP) Olympics.

The dragon boat competition will be held on Oct. 8 at the Manila Bay along Baywalk in Roxas Boulevard.

The Navy team, which is composed of 22 active members and two civilians, was crowned overall champion in the 2016 Ordos International Nadam Dragon Boat Tournament in Mongolia last August.

The Navymen ruled the 300-meter full race, 500-meter full race, 500-meter mixed race and 3,000-meter full race; finished second in the 300-meter mixed race; and placed third in the 3,000-meter mixed race.

The Philippine Navy squad is mentored by Suhod S. Hakim, a pioneer of the many-time champion national dragon boat team. He was national trainer during the 1997 Southeast Asian Games and became assistant playing coach in 2003. He was also a member of the Adamson University varsity swimming team.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Navy is expected to face a strong challenge from the Philippine Army and the Philippine Coast Guard teams which both competed in the 10th Club Crew World Championship held at the A.M. Ramsay Regatta Course in Adelaide, Australia from April 1-7 this year.

The Philippine Army pocketed four gold medals and one silver in the tournament which attracted topnotch dragon boat teams in the world.

The Armymen dominated the 200-meter premier open, 200-meter premier mixed, 500-meter premier mixed and 2,000-meter premier open events in the small boat division. They also finished second in the 500-meter premier open event.

The Philippine Coast Guard, on the other hand, pocketed five golds, one silver and one bronze in the competition organized by the International Dragon Boat Federation.

The Coast Guard paddlers ruled the 500-meter premier open, 500-meter premier women and 200-meter premier women events in the small boat division as well as the 500-meter premier mixed and 200-meter premier mixed events in the standard boat divisions. They got the silver in the 200-meter premier open in the small boat division and the bronze in the 2,000-meter premier mixed in the standard boat division. Jean Malanum/