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PH paddlers bag silver in Penang regatta meet

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The Philippine Canoe Kayak Dragonboat Federation (PCKDF) showcased its renewed prowess by clinching the silver medal in the highly competitive Penang International Dragon Boat Regatta 2023 held in Malaysia.

The event drew the participation of 60 teams representing 40 countries.

In the challenging International Premier Open event, the PCKDF team faced stiff competition during the initial heat, clocking in at 1:41.72, just behind the Thailand National Team at 1:37.60.

Remarkably, the team, composed of a blend of national team veterans and relative newcomers with less than a year of paddling experience at the competitive level, demonstrated commendable performance in the heat event.

Strategic adjustments were implemented during the Semi-Final round, where the team, guided by playing coach John Paul Selencio and Christian Burgos, showcased improved pacing and technique, securing the top spot with a time of 1:38.68.

Carrying the same strategic approach into the finals, the Philippine team faced their formidable Southeast Asian rival, Thailand, which clinched the championship with a time of 1:32.47.

Despite the intense competition, Team Philippines earned a well-deserved silver medal, completing the race in 1:35.44.

The Philippine team’s roster boasted of skilled individuals, including team captain Ojay Fuentes, assistant team captain Lee Robin Santos, Jerome Solis, Jims Vencent Arseno, Edmund Catapang, Neljohn Fabro, Roger Kenneth Masbate, Roberto Pantaleon, Jordan Parayno, John James Pelagio, Jobert Penaranda, Franz Ezer Seniman, and team manager-coach Duchess Francine Co.

Notably, the PCKDF received a personal invitation from the event organizers, the Penang International Dragon Boat Festival, which has been hosting the regatta for an impressive 44 years.

Duchess Francine Co, the team manager-coach, reflected on the transformative phase undergone by PCKDF.

“With the team’s desire to assess our progress and implement significant changes following our loss in the Cambodia Southeast Asian Games, the PCKDF underwent a transformative phase,” said Co.

“Under the leadership of our former head coach, Coach Len (Escollantes), now NSA President, the team implemented key adjustments in the coaching staff, training programs, and dietary habits, among other aspects.”


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