The national men’s dragon boat team surpassed its own Southeast Asian Games record and a pair of twins and two teenage kayak rowers made their presence felt in the dragon boat and canoe-kayak competitions of the second POC-PSC National Games staged over the weekend at Lake Caliraya in Laguna.
The men’s dragon boat squad in the 20-seat event clocked one minute and 48.82 seconds in winning the games’ 500 meters gold medal, and more importantly in the process surpassing the SEA Games record of 1:54.00 it set in Indonesia last November.
A total of 768 rowers in all three disciplines took part in the games supervised by the Philippine Canoe Kayak Federation, Inc. headed by Dr. Sim Chi Tat, the most among the 38 national sports associations in the PNG that was staged in different parts of the country.
The nationals were so overpowering in the 500-meter event that Philippine Navy could only clock 1:54.10 for the silver and Lake Buhi 1:55.35 for the bronze in the event backed by the PSC, the POC, Laguna Gov. ER Ejercito, Pagsanjan Mayor Maita Ejercito, Lumban Mayor Freddie Paraiso and the Caliraya Resorts Club. Also witnessing the event was Col. Agane Adriatico of the Special Service Unit of the AFP
But if the nationals rowed to expectations, twins Alvin and Alex Genaro, a prized find by national coach Lenlen Escolante from Masbate who are now 22 years old, drew attention, as well as 16-year-old Hermie Macaranas and 13-year-old Ojay Fuentes.
Alvin (2:20.64) and Alex (2:30.55) Generalo finished 1-2 in the men’s 500 meters of kayak’s touring single, where Macaranas showed potential by bagging the bronze with 2:36.18.
The twins also bagged gold and silver in kayak’s sprint single—Alvin with 2:02.09 and Alex with 2:07.10. Daniel Ortega, with 2:13.74, clinched the bronze in the competitions that, becase of the enthusiasm and the sheer numbers of the participants, became more of a festival.
Alvin Generalo bagged a third gold medal in kayak’s 200 meters touring single with a time of 53.12 and a fourth mint in doubles with Manalo with 1:06.40.
Macaranas also showed his potential in men’s canoe singles by clinching silver with 2:30.41, behind national Dany Funelas (2:21.60). Cebu’s Fuentes bagged bronze with 2:44.55 to also share the spotlight.
The other national teams also reigned supreme in the other dragon boat events—in the women’s 500 meters 10-seater with 2:14.19 (Navy was second with 2:25.07 and Boracay Bumshells third with 2:42.60), women’s 250 meters 10-seater with 1:01.14 (Navy second 1:09.59 and Boracay Bumshell third 1:10.14) and men’s 250 meters 10-seater with 43.82 seconds (Lake Buhi second 46.02 and Laguna Rapids 47.82).
The other dragonboat gold medal winners were Navy (2:03.12) in the 500 meters mixed 20-seater, followed by PDRT (2:08.60) and Laguna Rapid Paddlers (2:09.42), and Laguna Rapid Paddlers (52.92) in 200 meters mixed, followed by PYROS (53.94) and Aqua Fortis (55.06).
The other gold medal winners were Sumagaysay and Diomedes Manalo in 500 meters touring doubles and Leonita Banlat and Mary Neth Bechayda in women’s 200 meters touring doubles of kayak, and Funelas in men’s singles 200 meters and Noemi Tener in women’s singles also of 200 meters in canoe.