PADS dragon boat team wins third gold in tough Florida meet
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Philippine Accessible Disability Services, Inc. (PADS) Dragon Boat Team etched a historic feat in the prestigious International Dragon Boat Federation’s (IDBF) 13th Club Crew World Championships in Sarasota, Florida after winning three gold medals.
The PADS dragon boat team, comprised of persons with disabilities and persons with impairments proved they deserved to be in this major international competition.
They ruled the small boat (SB) Paradragon (PD)-1 Open category, the SB/PD2 200-meter race, and the SB/PD-2 2,000m race to become the first Filipino para dragon boat team to win not just one, but three gold medals in the history of the Club Crew World Championships.
They bagged their first gold medal on July 20 by topping the SB/PD-2 2,000m race with a time of 10 minutes, 59.167 seconds, beating Para United Sarasota who finished second in 12:35.248, and DC Dragon Boat Club-Washington DC in 13:47.862
On day two of the competition, PADS ruled the SB/PD-1 Open and the SB/PD-2 Open categories to earn two more gilts.
They finished the SB/PD-1 open with a time of 55.756 seconds while USA Adaptive Fusion grabbed second place in 59.022, and the USA DC Dragon Boat Club finished third with a time of 1:03.813.
PADS finished the SB/PD-2 open category with a time of 56.016 seconds followed by Z99 Para Fusion (59.783), and USA Adaptive Fusion (1:01.656).
The last time PADS had a stellar performance in the world championships was in 2019 when they claimed four gold medals in the 14th International Dragon Boat Federation (IDBF) World Nations Championships in Pattaya, Thailand.
For team manager, JP Maunes, their journey to the IDBF 13th Club Crew World Championships was full of challenges.
In his Facebook post, Maunes detailed the difficulties and challenges they’ve overcome just to get into the competition.
“The journey to the club crew IDBF 13th Club Crew World Championships was never easy. There were a lot of distractions coming to the world championships that almost broke the team into pieces and as a team, we stood for each other, lifted everyone from their feet and carried every burden we can carry just to make the impossible happen. These adversities fueled us to give it all in the races,” Maunes said.
“Today was a very emotional race. As we look back 6 years ago, all we had was our dreams, now these dreams are slowly becoming a reality as we reap the fruits of our hard work, dedication, and sacrifices and of course, an entire community to back us up. Bugsay hangtud mabuang! We hope to inspire everyone with our story here at the world championships after watching these videos. You can never tell who’s disabled when you’re dragon boat racing. Nobody can tell you that you can’t.”
PADS still has several categories to compete in the Club Crew World Championships. It is hoping to win it all before flying back to Cebu next week. /rcg
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