PN file photo

The Philippines will host the World Championships of dragon boat racing, as the International Canoe Federation (ICF) has granted hosting rights to Puerto Princesa from October 28 to November 4 this year.

Len Escollante, president of the Philippine Canoe Kayak Dragonboat Federation (PCKDF), said that the selection process favored the Philippines over other candidates. This gives importance to the nation’s reputation as a premier host for international sporting events.

ICF President Thomas Konietzko officially endorsed the Philippines to all member national federations, citing PCKDF’s efforts in domestic sport development as the reason for granting hosting rights.

“It’s tough to bid for the world championship hosting, but they love to do it in the Philippines to see its beauty and experience the world-famous hospitality of the Filipinos,’’ Escollante said.

Participants from 45 countries are expected to be hosted in Puerto Princesa.

Russia, the USA, and Australia have already expressed interest in accommodations in Puerto Princesa, keen on acclimatizing to the local weather and water conditions.

In 2018, Filipino paddlers showcased excellence at the World Championships, securing five gold medals, two silvers, and two bronze medals at Lake Lanier, the venue of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. 

Despite missing the 2022 staging in Racice, Czech Republic, due to the global pandemic, the Philippines is poised to make a formidable return, aiming for a competitive edge on home turf.

“We will be competitive in these races. Apart from putting our best foot forward as hosts, our paddlers have started the buildup in our quest to win numerous medals against the best in the world,’’ Escollante said.

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