Today was the Grand Finale of the 2012 ICF Dragon Boat World Championships at the Idroscalo of Milan. The Russian national team with a strong delegation of 80 athletes and a large support team, added 5 gold medals to its already impressive collection of medals, finishing in first place with a total of 12 gold medals, followed by Hungary with 5, Philippines and Canada with 4 each, and Germany with a single gold medal.
A satisfactory booty for Italy
Andrea Bedin, Italian Team Leader could include on his performance sheets, four silver medals and three bronze medals: "Our team has grown a lot in recent times, a few years ago we’d have struggled to reach the final, today we can go and touch the medal and the victory," he said. "Dragon Boat is a wonderful discipline that can attract many practitioners; it is a pure team sport, in many ways more “educational” than other more individualistic sports.
I'm excited and I think the 10 men boats could also be inserted among the Olympic disciplines. Moreover, the electric atmosphere that we all felt all over the racing field confirms the seriousness of our competitive sport.
“There are two or three countries ahead of the others but no teams are too far apart, and therefore the level of competition has been very good ". To emphasize even more the competitive rigors of the event, the International Canoeing Federation (ICF) carried out a series of sampled doping controls.
Some sporting events have strengthened the party side - for example, the match between the Universities, which was won by the University of Florence, who came in ahead of the Universities of Verona and Padua, or the group of Italian sports club, won by a 10 men dragon of the Idroscalo Club, the organizer.
Penitentiary Police and Pink Ladies
This race was also marked by an increase in attendance of the two dragon boat teams of the Penitentiary Police, the best of which finished ranked fourth. They lost third place after crossing the finish line with a turn too tight, the dragon lost balanced, capsizing in the water: uncertainties of the sport. For the policemen it has been an exciting experience as well as a lot of fun, an important step for team building and competitive development.
Important have also been two moments related to the affirmation of this sport - and sports in general - as an expression of a positive, dynamic and above all healthy approach to life. First, the challenge of the "Pink Ladies”, dragons of women who have undergone breast surgery, won by a mixed Milan-Pavia crew against the rival Roman boat; moreover a demonstration event organized by the magazine Starbene, Mondadori Editions, which drew to Idroscalo a crowded group of readers by offering them the opportunity to try to compete for the first time on a dragon boat.
Big closing party at Idroscalo Venue
The sports day ended with a long and celebrated award ceremony, which was attended by the Idroscalo Club President, Cesare Caroli. It was the first of three award ceremonies which was not accompanied by late summer showers that have marked these World Championships. But for Caroli and his company, this September will be a challenging one as next weekend they host the Italian Canoeing, Kayaking and Paracanoeing Championships; on the 29th and 30th of September, and the Italian Rowing Championships, juniors and seniors.
Find information, schedule and results on the official website of the 2012 ICF DRAGON BOAT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: www.idroscaloclub.org/dragon/eng/live.html