SEA Games: Paddlers eye three golds

October 30, 2019

The National paddlers will seek a glorious finish when they compete in the 30th Southeast Asian Games.

National team head coach Len Escollante said they are gunning for three out of the six gold medals at stake when the compete in the canoeing and kayak events of the prestigious biennial meet set from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11 at the Maalawan Park in Olongapo City.

Escollante, a member of the national women’s volleyball team that clinched the gold medal in the 1993 SEA Games in Singapore, said they are hoping for a golden performance in the 1,000-meter and 200-meter mixed standard boat events as well as 500-meter men’s four-seater event following their impressive preparation in the past couple of months.

In fact, the national paddlers are set to leave for Ningbo, China today to compete in the 2019 ICF Dragonboat World Cup, where the best athletes from around the world will be seeing action.

“We are eyeing to win at least three of the six gold medals at stake,” said Escollante, adding that the World Cup will serve as their gauge in their preparation.

“I’m glad that this World Cup came at least a month before the SEA Games. At least we can see where we are right now in terms of preparation and what are the areas we need to improve on as we head to the Southeast Asian Games.”

Escollante said the Philippine Sports Commission, through chairman William “Butch” Ramirez, is behind them all the way. “Chairman Ramirez and the PSC have been very supportive. They gave everything we need from financial support to equipment and other kind assistance,” Escollante said, adding that they would make some adjustments in the positioning of their crew after the World Cup.

“The World Cup will serve as our gauge. We may not win it all, but at least we can check our time and make some adjustments. I’m glad that the PSC is here to support us in this exposure trip.”