Thursday, August 11, 2011

Fair Play: Dragon Boat team has the last laugh

DESPITE writing about Philippine Sports Commission stuff, on and off, for the better part of 10 years, for the life of me, I’m still confused what the PSC is all about.

At one point, it was a separate entity, one that could think on its own, one that could recognize which athlete to support.

Now, who it recognizes depends on who the Philippine Olympic Committee recognizes?
When did that happen?

Oh well, at least the Dragon Boat team, the athletes orphaned by both the POC and the PSC and weren’t allowed to compete in the Asiad Meet, showed the two agencies were wrong.

Last year, the surest bet for a gold in the Asiad was not the boxing or billiards team, but the paddlers—since they were world record holders set to compete in a continental meet.

But I remember there was something fishy with how they failed to get their spot and I remember thinking it fell under the “Only in the Philippines” category.

So I checked the news archives and learned the team was disqualified by the POC because they were simply too fast.

There was a trial held in October for the November Asiad, a trial that shouldn’t have been necessary since the team was a world champion.  But still, they went through the whole charade and proceeded to smash the qualifying times. The men’s 200m team timed 41.88, beating the POC qualifying time of 47.74; The ladies team clocked 46.85, beating the time of 49.07.

So if they beat the times, they should have made the Asiad, right?

No, and that’s where everything gets confusing.

There were accusations of a rigged qualifier and that the qualifying times were simply too fast to be true.  The POC guy who oversaw the qualifiers even reported to his bosses that “our paddlers were super men and women, or were on super steroids.”

Yep, it was that ugly but I didn’t pay that much attention as it was the time that I openly supported the ouster of the then PFF president, whose mishandling of his organization was publicized when the Azkals hit paydirt that December.

And another successful team now, raises a new question for all Pinoy fans—how did they mishandle this?

The Azkal success help led to the ouster of the president.

Now, I wonder who’ll get a really tough paddle on the behind.

Care to make a guess?

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