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PH to join dragonboat tournament in US


A formidable Philippine team will leave on Sunday to compete in the International Canoe Federation Dragon Boat World Championships scheduled on September 13 to 16 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Philippine Canoe Kayak Dragonboat Federation president Jonne Go will accompany the team in the trip funded by the Philippine Sports Commission and the Go For Gold program of Powerful Marketing and Logistics Corporation.

“We have prepared long and hard for this as our team embarks on a mission to show the world what we are capable of achieving,” Go said.

PSC Commissioner Arnold Agustin said he has seen the paddlers train and he believes they are capable of winning.

“You are fighting for honor and country. Just believe in yourself. Do your best,” Agustin told the athletes during the send-off hosted by Go For Gold at the Aristocrat Restaurant in Malate, Manila on Friday.

Head coach Len Escollante has expressed optimism that the Filipinos can face the tough challenge from the United States, Russia, Hungary, Germany and France. Also participating are Canada, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Switzerland, Ukraine, Japan and Puerto Rico.

“I know that my team is competitive and it will give other countries a good fight,” Escollante said.

The Philippines won the 20-seater senior mixed 200 meters and 500 meters and the 10-seater Junior mixed 200 meters events in the 2016 World Championships in Moscow, Russia. The Filipinos also got one silver and two bronzes.

Donning the national colors are Mark Jhon Frias, Okay Frias, Hermie Macaranas, Norwell Cajes, John Lester delos Santos, Oliver Manaig, Robert Pantaleon, Lee Robin Santos, Jordan de Guia, Jonathan Ruiz, John Paul Selencio and Roger Kenneth Masbate in the men’s team.

Joining them are women paddlers Rosalyn Esguerra, Rhea Roa, Christine Mae Talledo, Sharmane Mangilit, Apple Jane Abitona, Raquel Almencion, Lealyn Baligasa, Glaiza Liwag, Maribeth Caranto and Patricia Bustamante.

The newcomers in the team are Frias, Pantaleon, Ruz, Talledo, Mangilit and Baligasa.

The coaches are Diomedes Manalo, Duchess Co and Christian Abejar. (PNA)