The Philippine Army Dragon Boat Team is ready and in form to grab more championship trophies for at least two major international events this year as they bagged two championship trophies in the just concluded COBRA-Philippine Dragon Boat Federation quarterly regatta “Tunay na Lakas” race at Baywalk Roxas Boulevard last Sunday.
“The team championed the first leg of 300 meters at 1:09 race time and the second leg of the same distance at 1:10 leaving behind 12 other contenders,” said Maj. Harold Cabunoc, the Army spokesman.
Among the teams who aspired to bag the gold are Adamson Paddlers University, Amateur Paddlers Philippines, Cebu Dragons, De La Salle University Dragon Boat Team, Maharlika Drakon, Manila Ocean Park Dragon Boat Team, One Piece Drakon Sangres, Onslaught Racing Dragons, Philippine Blue Phoenix Dragon Boat Club, Rogue Pilipinas Paddlers, Rowers Club Philippines Sea Dragon, and Triton Dragon Boat Racing Team.
Technical Sergeant Franco Tinoco, the team’s coach, said they are now preparing for various local and international races which make them all the more tough and driven. They have also started training women athletes to join the pack.
“Among the races that we are preparing for are the International Dragon Boat Festival in Camarines Sur this October, Zambales Dragon Boat Regatta and Malaysian International Dragon Boat Festival both in December,” Tinoco said.
The team is also preparing for the upcoming AFP-PNP Olympics which is an annual friendship game between the two government institutions.
The army soldiers who compose the Dragon Boat Team have been one of the sources of national pride in the realm of sports.
Just last month, the team bagged the championship trophy from the 10th Padang International Dragon Boat Festival (PIDBF) slated from July 12-15.
Led by veteran paddler and Boat Captain, Sgt. Usman Anterola, they saw action in the 800-meter event, small boat division.
The Cherifer Premium-powered team is a consistent winner in various competitions here and abroad. They have dominated the local dragon boat races held in Boracay, Camarines Sur, Zambales and Camarines Sur.
The team also brought home five gold and two silver medals from the International Dragon Boat Federation World Championship held at Tampa, Florida in August 2011.
Likewise, in October 2011, PADBT emerged winner against 15 challengers in the Camarines Sur International Dragon Boat Festival. They bagged the golds in the 400-meter and 200-meter events pinning the title intact to their shoulders.
Just last January 22, the team also championed the Annual Dargon Boat Championship held in Manila Bay.
In the IDBF World Championships last year, seven of the PADBT members competed as part of the Pinoy Dragon Warriors, bringing home 5 gold medals and 5 new world records.
PIDBF is a prestigious Dragon Boat competition in Asia joined by various countries including the dragon boat powerhouses, Myanmar and Indonesia.
Other teams joining are from Singapore, Hong Kong, Laos, Taiwan, Burma, and Australia.