Dragon boating: Port Macquarie's Glenys Cummings and Merche Benson return from China with swag of medals

All smiles: Merche Benson and Glenys Cummings returned to the Hastings with a medal haul from the world championships in China. Photo: Ivan Sajko
All smiles: Merche Benson and Glenys Cummings returned to the Hastings with a medal haul from the world championships in China. Photo: Ivan Sajko

PORT Macquarie dragon boat duo Glenys Cummings and Merche Benson could not have given anything more in China.

Their efforts were rewarded when they returned to the Hastings this week from China with a swag of medals.

Cummings finished the 13th IDBF World Nations Championships with two silver and three bronze, while Benson claimed three silver medals and a bronze.

62-year-old Cummings had limited knowledge of dragon boating five years ago and admitted she had “nothing left in the tank” after the races on Lake Dianchi.

“I got the silver in the two kay woman’s and the 500-metre woman’s and the bronze were in the two kay 20 boat mixed and the 200 metre woman’s and the 200m mixed,” she said.

“Everybody had trained hard leading up to it; I had nothing left in the tank at the end of each race – we just couldn’t get on top of Canada.”

Flamin’ Dragons clubmate Benson admitted the Canadians “dominated” every race.

“They usually only beat us by less than a second so it wasn’t a disgrace,” she said.

Benson’s most challenging race was the first one – which she claimed silver in – as she became used to racing in a new environment.

“It was for a two kilometre race where we were trying to get used to the altitude because we were racing 2000 metres above sea level so that was a really tough race,” she said.

The duo have already set their sights on an improved effort at the world championships in Thailand in 2019.

“At this stage I’m hoping that in two years time I can be an aurora again,” Benson said.

“It’s amazing when you’re standing on the podium and watching the flag raise.

“I always wanted to cry when that happened – it was awesome, I was very proud.”