Filipino paddlers haven’t lost their touch since they bagged five gold medals in the ICF (International Canoe Federation) Dragon Boat World Championships.

In a dazzling display of speed, precision and teamwork, the Go For Gold-Philippine Dragonboat Team brought home gold medals from the international arena again on Wednesday, this time from the world-renowned DBS Marina Regatta in Singapore.

The national paddlers clocked 1:00.76 in dominating the 10-seater premier women’s division 200m and duplicated the feat in the 20-seater premier mixed category that served as their tuneup for the coming 30th Southeast Asian Games.

Despite having five women in the premier big boat open category, the Filipinos still wound up with a silver medal in a hard-fought race that featured boats with all-male teams.

“We did well in this tournament and we are eager to translate our performance here into victories during the SEA Games,” head coach Len Escollante said. “What was really surprising was we got these medals against teams where the paddlers are all male.”

The Go For Gold-PH Dragonboat squad wrote history on the world stage when they collected five gold medals that sealed the overall title in last year’s world championships in Lake Lanier, Gainesville, Georgia.

They ruled the 10-seater and 20-seater senior mixed 200m races in the worlds and also ruled the big boat in the senior mixed 500m and the 10-seater senior men’s 200m.

“Right now, we’re confident that we can go up against the best in the [Southeast Asian] region, but we cannot be complacent. We must keep on improving our clockings,” Escollante said.

REPRINTED FROM THE PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER

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