Pangelinan’s semi-final finish was the cap on the final competitive sport for a Guam Olympian in the 2008 Beijing Games. As the only one of the six athletes to make a semi- final round in his sport, he is made his mark for the small U.S. Territory at these games.
In the sport of Canoe/ Kayak seems an appropriate place for this Pacific islander to make his mark. The ancient Chamorros of Guam were known for the sailing skills in their fast ocean faring proas that traverse vast distances of the Pacific Ocean.
We extend to Sean, Cora, R.J., Chris, Maria, and Derek our sincerest congratulations for their great sportsmanship and Olympic Spirit! We enjoyed sharing your journey! We will always remember it!
Pangelinan: ‘I raced a good race;’ Paddler finishes semifinal race in ninth place
BY JOJO SANTO TOMAS • PACIFIC DAILY NEWS • AUGUST 22, 2008
BEIJING— Sean Pangelinan closed things out for Team Guam at the Summer
Games with a satisfactory performance in paddling yesterday at the Shunyi Rowing/Canoeing Park.
Pangelinan finished the canoe single 500-meter flatwater sprint with a time of 2 minutes and 17.94 seconds, five seconds off his qualifying time from Tuesday. Paddling in a rainy headwind, Pangelinan was still happy with his race.
“Despite the number, it was a really good race for me, I was really happy. I raced a good race, the way I was out on the water, I’m happy about my performance today,” he said. “I knew what I had to do and in the end, I did it. I gave everything I had out there, and I finished the race exhausted, more tired than I was when I finished the 1,000. I did not hold back at all.”
Pangelinan wasn’t the only one who suffered a drop in time. All competitors who qualified for today’s race dropped anywhere from 2 to 5 seconds off their Tuesday times.
Pangelinan said he was happy that he had another shot to make up for a disappointing performance on Monday, when he raced in the 1,000-meter sprint mentally unprepared.
His redemption in the 500 was not to place higher, but to race better.
“I’m very happy that I got three chances to do this and that it didn’t happen all on just one day, it happened over three days,” he said. “Unlike the beginning, I was prepared mentally. This last race was as comfortable as if I was sleeping at home.”
The nine-country final will include paddlers from Spain, Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, France, China, Hungary, Romania and Poland. Russia has the best qualifying time entering the finals with a time of 1:47.849.
Pangelinan says that perhaps one day, Guam could be among some of the better countries. Although he leaves for school in the U.S. mainland a week after he returns to Guam, he’s anxious to get things started on Guam, where no one knows much about Canadian canoe racing.
“We’ve still got a lot of administrative work to do. Our main goal for coming out here was to develop the program on Guam. We want to start producing kids that are interested in the sport, let them know what it’s all about, and let them see that it’s OK to dream. The sooner, the better.”
Pangelinan says that as Guam is the first Pacific island team to compete in the sport in the Olympics, the island has a head start against other nations in the region. “If we stay on top of things, not just in our region, but maybe all over the world,” he said.