Philippine Dragon Boat Team paddles to Asian Game inclusion

Make or Break!

IT’S a make or break for the Philippine Dragon Boat Team.

The 44-man RP paddlers, hoping to get the last ticket to Asian Game, put their pride and honor at stake in today’s time trial at the Lamesa Dam and Eco Watershed in Quezon City.

The challenges start at 9am.

“Our athletes are ready. They make all the sacrifices to prove that they deserved to be included in the delegation for the Asian Games,” said national coach Nestor Ilagan.

The athletes, Ilagan said, are composed and confident to show their prowess and deserved a slot in the quadrennial meet slated Nov. 12-27 in Guangzhou, China.

‘They are world champions, remember,” he added.

The squad must beat the existing Asian Games bronze medal time to make it to the Asiad Team.

This is the results of the memorandum of understanding signed by dragon boat officials and members of the POC Asiad Screening committee.

“We want outright qualification, but they the screening committee said otherwise. The settle the matter we agreed to hold a time trial and proved we deserved to be included,” said Ilagan.

But screening committee member Clarito Samson said, the achievement made by the dragon boat team in world championship could not be used since member of that team is not the same group and the condition of water is different in Guangzhou watershed.

“We explain it to them. Sila naman ang nagbigay ng idea na magkaroon ng time trial. Kami naman sige lang kung talagang mapapatunayan na kaya ng team na makapasa bakit naman naming sila pipigilan,” said Samson.

The original plan for the team is to hold the time trial in Manila Bay where the group regularly training.

But Asiad Chief of Mission Joey Romasanta opposed the plan of holding the time trials at Manila Bay since the water conditions are different from those in Guangzhou.

The POC said it is proper to conduct the trials at the La Mesa Watershed and Eco-Park since the Asian Games rowing events will be held in a lake where the water conditions would be similar.

A total of six events will be at stake in the Guangzhou Asian Games, with the national rowers confident of winning at least a gold medal.

“All cellphones and laptops will be confiscated till the end of the time trial to let the team focus on their task and avoid distractions from the outside. To all our friends, we’’ talk to yoyu all again in a couple of days. Mabuhay ang Atletang Pinoy,” said a member of the team posted in Facebook.

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