BAKUNAWA Dragon Boat Team of Iligan City, Lanao del Sur clinched two golds in the 34th Kadayawan Dragon Boat Festival 2019, which got underway at the Sta. Ana Pier in Davao City Saturday, August 10.
Bakunawa paddlers, who ranked seventh in the eliminations, clocked a total of 48.70 seconds to emerge champion in open standard boat category, racing past Kujaw Tiger Dragons of Cortes, Surigao del Sur (49.28), Polillo Dragon Boat Team of Polillo, Quezon (49.97) and Samal Dragons (50.83) who placed second, third and fourth, respectively.
Team manager Mites Chua, in a phone interview with SunStar Davao Saturday, said the come-from-behind win was unexpected.
“Nagulat kami kasi we were against the strongest of Manila and Mindanao teams. Seventh lang ata kami sa elims, bumawi lang talaga sa semis at finals,” she said.
She also said that since most of the members came from disadvantaged families in Iligan, the team lacks financial support.
She added, “Limited ang resources, natutong magkaroon ng heart of champion. Kahit anong setback, babawi talaga.”
Bakunawa, seeing action for the first time in the annual Kadayawan race, is eyeing to put up more impressive showing when action resumes today.
The Iligan-based champions doubled the feat by topping the open small boat event having registered 50.59 seconds. They bested Polillo Dragonboat Team (51.40), Philippine Titans of Metro Manila (52.37) and United Paddlers Club (UPC)-A (53.96).
Polillo (49.87), however, recovered by bagging the mixed standard boat gold over SAG-1 Dragon Boat Team of Metro Manila (50.18), Philippine Titans (50.55) and Dragon Warriors Davao (50.99) while SAG-1 (1:01.26) annexed the women small boat title at the expense of UPC (1:02.11), Dragon Warriors Davao-A (1:02.95) and Philippine Titans (1:04.21).
Action resumes today, featuring 300m distance races in five categories. (MLSA)