THE Philippines set a new world record en route to a gold medal finish in the 20-seater men's 200 meters and topped three other events in the 2017 Taiwan International Dragon Boat Championships.
The Filipinos clocked 40.16 seconds in the semifinals, eclipsing the 41-second mark the Philippines set at the 2014 ICF Dragon Boat World Championships in Pozman, Poland.
The members of the Philippine dragon boat team are Daniel Ortega, Roger Masbate, Christian Burgos, Fernan Dungan, Hermie Macaranas, Alex Generalo, Ojay Fuentes, John Paul Selencio, Jordan De Guia, Raymart Nevado, Lee Robin Santos, Jonathan Ruz and Franc Feliciano.
Also in the squad were Fernan Dungan, Oliver Manaig, Christian Urso, Lester Delos Santos, Jerome Solis, Kim Gabriel Borromeo, Robert Pantaleon, Jericho Noay, John James Pelagio, Christian Macayan, Arche Baylosis, Ryan Vidal, Roger Manlangit and drummer Patricia Ann Bustamante.
"I had been challenging them to break their world record in every race. All the hard work of training twice a day finally paid off," said national coach Len Escollante.
The Philippines claimed the gold in runaway fashion, clocking 40.48 seconds to beat Chinese Taipei's Fitness Factory (43.57) and Ludong Township (47.01).
"We're really after the clockings. Our next goal is to break the 39-second barrier this year and hopefully aim for 38 seconds prior to the Asian Games," said Escollante.
The team supported by the Philippine Sports Commission also claimed the gold in the men's 200m 10-seater and the men's 500m 10-seater.
The Nationals timed 53.84 seconds to beat Taiwan and Hong Kong in the 200m 10-seater before bagging their third gold in the 500m small boat in 2:22.
They capped off their campaign with gold in the men's 500m 20-seater. The team were also with assistant coaches Mark Jhon Frias and Ricky Sardena.
"This is essentially the start of our preparations for the world championships and the Asian Games next year," said Philippine Canoe Kayak Federation president Jonne Go.