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PH paddlers good for 5 golds

The Philippine Canoe Kayak and Dragon Boat Federation looks to win at least five gold medals in the coming 30th Southeast Asian Games in Subic later this year.

That’s the modest assessment of PCKDF president Jonne Go when asked about the country’s chances during her maiden appearance in the 8th “Usapang Sports” presented by the Tabloid  Organization in Philippine Sports at the National Press Club in Intramuros, Manila.

“It’s hard to say, but I think we have a very good chance of winning at least five gold medals out of the 12 events we have in the coming SEA Games,” said Go, who was accompanied during the weekly sports session by national team coach Len Escollante.

Both  Go and  Escollante agreed that Indonesia, Thailand and Myanmar will be the biggest threats to the Philippines in the SEA Games.

“When it comes to dragonboat, nandito talaga sa Southeast Asia ‘yung mga malalakas. Dito nag umpisa. ‘Yung Indonesia, Thailand at  Myanmar,  magagaling talagang kalaban,” explained Escollante, who was also the coach of the PCKDF team which bagged the world title in the 2018 ICF World Dragon Boat Championships in  Gainesville, Georgia last September.

“But we really have top caliber athletes now in both dragon boat and canoe kayak. Talagang pinaghahandaan natin itong SEA Games. Lamang pa din tayo dahil may homecourt advantage. ‘Yung mga boat, galing din sa atin,” she added.

Also high in the calendar of the PCKDF is the hosting of the World Dragon Boat Congress in Manila in November, 2020.

 “We feel honored for the trust and confidence in choosing the Philippines as host of the 2020 World Dragon Boat Congress,” said Go, who is also a high-ranking official of the Asian Dragon Boat Association, headed by Toshiho Narita.

The country will actually be the first Southeast Asian country—and second Asian nation—to host the prestigious event since Hong Kong in 1997.

 Go, who also served as chef de mission of the 2018 World Youth Olympic held in Buenes Aires, Argentina, said the world-class Filipino hospitality will be on display during the congress also supported by the Philippine Sports Commission, headed by Chairman William “Butch” Ramirez, and   Philippine Olympic Committee under Ricky Vargas.

Also  present during the session were well-known  actor-director Carlo Maceda  and  Rinbert  Galarde, who  talked  about the  launching of  the Community Basketball  Association in San Mateo, Rizal last  Jan. 27;  and veteran motocross organizer  Sam Tamayo and young stars Bornok Mangosong  and Jasmin Jao, who discussed  the  coming the first leg of the MX Messiah Fairgrounds tomorrow  at the MMF Clubt in Taytay, Rizal.

The two-hour sports session is supported by PSC and can be viewed on Facebook via Glitter Livestream @glitter.ph. TOPS  is composed of sports editors, columnists, sportswriters and photographers from the country’s leading tabloids.

Topics: Philippine Canoe Kayak and Dragon Boat Federation , Southeast Asian Games , Jonne Go , Philippine Sports Commission , William Ramirez , Ricky Vargas

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