MANILA—The Cobra Philippine Dragon Boat Federation will stop by the Senate on Monday to air their side regarding the non-support of the Philippine Sports Commission during their triumphant stint in the World Championships in Tampa, Florida, where they won five gold medals and two silvers.
PDBF president Marcia Cristobal told the Inquirer they look forward to airing their side before the solons even as they vowed to reiterate their demand to get back their national sports association status from the Philippine Olympic Committee.
Cristobal also stressed that her team is willing to don the national colors in the Indonesia Southeast Asian Games but definitely on their own terms and not under the wings of the Philippine Canoe/Kayal Federation.
“We have a system that is tested and proven,” said Cristobal. “We can assure you gold medals especially in the small boat because there we have a complete team.”
The Philippines, with the Cobra PDBF paddlers at its core, swept all six golds medals in the 2005 SEAG held here, winning the men’s small boat 500-meter, 1,000m, traditional 500m and 1000m, and women’s traditional 500m and 1,000m
But in the 2007 Thailand edition, Myanmar beat the country in three finals (men’s small boat 500m and 1,000m, and women’s small boat 500m) placing second. The PH paddlers also got a bronze in women’s small boat 1,000m.
Cristobal said that in the 2007 SEA Games, the PH paddlers used different boats that they are not accustomed to. There was no dragon boat or traditional boat race in the 2009 Laos SEA Games.
However, Cristobal said that in the event nothing comes out of the discussion with the PCKF which was arranged by the House of Representatives, they will not prevent the PCKF from sending its own team in the SEA Games.
“The dragon boat in the SEA Games will be run by the SEATBA (SEA Traditional Boat Association) which recognizes PDBF,” said Cristobal. “But we will not let their paddlers suffer the pain we have endured. They have been training for months that would be unfair for them.”
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