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A few notes from the dragon boat championships in Taiwan

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TAIPEI — A boat entered by construction company, Xu Yuan Samurai, won the 50-and-over division at the Taiwan Dragon Boat Championships June 10.

“We practice almost three times a week but close to this competition, about five or six days a week,” Tung Hui Chu of Xu Yuan Samurai told BusinessWorld, as his team celebrated with the traditional dunk in the water.

Xu Yuan Samurai clocked two minutes and 35 seconds, besting 29 teams in the evergreen or seniors division.

Mr. Chu, who is also the Chairman of Tlisted Xu Yuan Construction Co. Ltd. said this is his fifth year joining the competition, where he has organized three teams.

“Perseverance, persistence, discipline, self-control, (and) team spirit” he said, drove the 20-member Xu Yuan Samurai team to victory this year.

Mr. Chu, 61, added that his fitness regime of weightlifting, running and martial arts kept him fit for the sport.

Another Xu Yuan team also bagged third place in the large dragon boat mixed category and 4th place in the small dragon boat men’s event.

In 2025, Xu Yuan is seeking to participate in the World Dragon Boat Championship.

“I think we still have a lot to go,” Seeker Boat Group’s Ken Yang said, whose team placed fifth in the small boat men’s group. “But our mixed team got first place, which is pretty nice.”

Mr. Yang, 27 who is in his second stint at the championships, trains in Bitan, New Taipei City.

Other gold medalists in the small dragon boat categories are BRO MIX for the organization group, Taipei Municipal Nangang High for the high school vocational group and Monster in the mixed group.

Taiwan Storm Dragon Boat Team secured the gold in the large dragon boat women’s event.

In a statement, the Taipei City government said this year’s total prize money was a record $3.33 million New Taiwan dollars (P5.9 million).

There were no Philippine boat teams in Taipei this year, Amateur Paddlers Philippines participated in 2023.

“We are bound to join the Siak International Dragon Boat Invitational race… on Aug. 29-Sept. 1, Bomba Pilipinas Dragonboat Team told BusinessWorld via Facebook on June 7.

Philippine Dragon Boat Federation’s Elite Crew will represent the country in the Macau and Hong Kong Dragonboat races on June 22-25. — Aubrey Rose Inosante

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