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Rowers clinch 3 medals in Thailand

Joanie Delgado and Edgar Ilas display their gold medal following a triumphant performance in the 2023 Asian Beach Sprint Championships in Pattaya, Thailand. Also shown are coaches Ed Maerina and Nic Jasmin. Photo courtesy of PRA

The vaunted national rowing team made its presence felt as it plucked three medals in the World Beach Games Asian Qualifying Tournament at the Ambassador Hotel in Pattaya, Thailand over the weekend.

Veteran international campaigners Edgar Ilas and Joanie Delgado clinched the gold medal in the coastal mixed double sculls over fancied bets from nine other countries, including powerhouse Hong Kong, Japan and Thailand.

Ilas and Delgado clocked two minutes and 42.75 seconds in the final race to outsprint their Thai foes by .11 seconds en route to clinching the gold medal.

National coach Edgar Maerina said Ilas and Delgado’s three-week training in long-distance races at the Ternate Rowing Academy in Cavite as well as their international experience served as the keys to their impressive performance.

Delgaco is a gold medalist in the 30th Southeast Asian Games that the country hosted in 2019 before emerging with a pair of bronze medals in the Hanoi Games in 2022.

Unfortunately, she will not get to defend her title as organizers scrapped the rowing event in the ongoing 32nd SEA Games in Phnom Penh.

Meanwhile, Olympian Cris Nievarez and Zuriel Sumintac also shone as they pucked the gold medal in the coastal men’s double sculls, a side event that doesn’t serve as a qualifier for the WBG that will be held in Bali, Indonesia from 5 to 12 August.

Amelyn Pagulayan and Kristine Paraon, for their part, clinched a bronze medal in the coastal women’s double sculls for the Filipinos, who were mentored by Maerina, Ma. Concepcion Fornea and Shukrat Ganiev of Uzbekistan.

Philippine Rowing Association president Patrick Gregorio said beach sprints and coastal rowing is a growing event that branched out from the traditional rowing sport.

“It is an interesting development of the sport that requires an even greater emphasis for strength, balance and speed from the rowers,” Philippine Rowing Association president Patrick Gregorio said, giving special thanks to the support of the Philippine Olympic Committee, Philippine Sports Commission, SMART and Maynilad as well as Cavite Gov. Jonvic Remulla and Rep. Aniela Tolentino for allowing them to train in Ternate.

Gregorio also extended his gratitude to Ternate Rowing Academy Project Director Norberto Madrigal, Liza Leonardo of Abucana Glam Camp and Wilfredo Villacarlos of Lorette de Mar Beach Resort.

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