The DLSU Dragon Boat Team recently represented the Philippines in the the 2017 World Famous University Dragon Boat Festival held at DaLi County of Weinan City, Shaanxi, China last June 24 to 25. The Lasallians placed eighth for both the 200m and the 2000m events, while placing fifth for the 500m division.
Led by team captain Star Buck De Leon and team manager Nikki Paculan, DLSU was bannered by drummer Cathy Epilepsia, steersman, Jamo Palacios, and rowers Jeremy Urdaneta, Jigg Taccad, Homer Porras, Lloyd Labra, Jansen Borja, Thad Gonzales, Silver Asensi, Paulo Jimenez, Jonathan Dizon, Robertino Borromeo, and Lance Esquillo.
The members of the team conditioned themselves for the competition in the mental and physical aspects. “I give them that glimpse of victory by describing the picture of our team waving the flag of our school and our country so that they will train with the motivation of winning,” De Leon explained.
He also mentioned that they often compete in tournaments which feature older age brackets, but their recent campaign featured student-athletes from various universities.
“In this international race, our competitors [were in] the same age bracket [as us] because this competition was among the universities from around the world.”
Strengths and weaknesses
As the team from Taft went up against their counterparts from different parts of the world, De Leon was able to point out their weaknesses and strengths. “One of the weaknesses of our team is the lack of reach and body mass,” He acknowledged that the members of the other teams, specifically the Canadians, Americans, and Polish, were taller and had an advantage in terms of reach and power.
Participants who are of smaller stature, on the other hand, have the advantage of having more agility and less mass. “There are still a lot of [other] factors which can help a team win, two of them are [mass] and agility.” Furthermore, De Leon mentioned that competitors who are physically bigger may, as a negative factor, have more drag.
Although the Lasallians faced adversity, they were able to receive invaluable experience from an international event which will allow them to further learn and grow as a team.
De Leon, already thinking about improving the team’s preparation for the future, said, “Maybe what we can bring to our future trainings and tournaments are better training schedules and not cramming training programs in such a short span of time.”
The Lasallians finished in the eighth place for the Men’s 2000m Small Boat division, recording a time of 11’41”48, as the team from the University of Toronto placed first after logging in at 11’06”96. DLSU posted an aggregate time of 2’01”54 and also earned eighth place in the Men’s 200m Small Boat while the University of Science and Technology of China nabbed first place after clocking in at 1’49”36.
The team from Taft logged 2’31”27 for the first heat of the Men’s 500m Small Boat event. Furthermore, the Lasallians clocked in 2’33”20 for the second heat of the same event, putting them in fifth place.
Donning the Philippine flag
“Anyone would be happy to win in any competition. We may have not won the championships, but deep in each and every one of us, we have won,” said De Leon. He spoke collectively as he shared the gratitude the team had felt for being invited to such an event. “It is already a win for us to represent our nation.”