Aspirants in the dragonboat and canoe-kayak competitions have breached the 700 mark, easily the biggest turnout among 38 national sports associations participating in the 2nd POC-PSC National Games.
Lenlen Escolante, national coach of the Philippine Canoe Kayak Federation Inc. (PCKF), said the most competitive dragonboat teams and the top canoe-kayak paddlers have signed up for the competitions that are scheduled this Friday up to Sunday at Lake Caliraya in Laguna.
Among the dragonboat teams that have signed up are the Manila Dragons, the Laguna Rapids Paddlers with three teams, Manila Wave, Philippine Navy, Boracay Bombshell, University of the Philippines, Manila Paddlers, 1925 Team, Spitfire Dragons, PDRT, Aqua Fortis, Pyros, Dragon Pilipinas, Lake Buhi of Camsur, Accenture and the PCKF National Team.
Top performers in the games will have a chance to be recruited to the national pools of dragonboat and canoe-kayak, according to PCKF president Sim Chi Tat.
The Navy teams won the men’s and mixed team gold medals, while the Boracay Bombshell clinched the women’s title in the well-attended Boracay International Dragonboat Festival last month.
Outstanding participants in the event supported by the PSC and the POC could be included on the national team to the Third Asian Beach Games in Haiyang, China, scheduled June 16 to 22.
The kayak events include 200 and 500 meters in men’s and women’s sprint single, touring single and touring double; while the canoe events are the 200 and 500 meters in men’s and women’s sprint single.
For dragonboat, already one of the country’s most popular sports, events will be in the 200 and 500 meters for men’s 20 crew, women’s 10 crew and 20 mixed crew.
Competitions will be governed by rules of the International Canoe Federation.