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Dongping Dragon Boat gala sails


Representatives from 29 countries and regions formed 48 teams for the first China Dongping International Dragon Boat Invitational on September 5 on the Dongping Lake.

Jiang Men team from Malaysia won gold a prize fund of 18,000 yuan, silver went to the Water Margin team of China who pocketed 15,000 yuan, and the Dongping team of China picked up bronze in the international group winning 12,000 yuan. The Old Lake Town Team from Dongping County won the first prize of the local group.

The sports event is an international 12-people open standard dragon boat race on a 500-meter straight course. The race includes a preliminary contest, quarter-finals, semifinals and finals. Teams are divided into two kinds: the international group and the local group. The international group includes 10 teams from Malaysia, the United States, Germany, Portugal, Singapore, etc. The local group includes 38 teams organized by the local villages, towns, administrative institutions and key enterprises.

'The dragon boat race is China's traditional mass cultural and sports event. Since the event was officially listed as one of the sports events in 1984, the dragon boat race becomes famous throughout the world, attracting more and more foreign teams taking part in the activity,' said Zhang Faqiang, the vice president of China's Olympic Organization Committee.

'Dongping has the conditions to hold the dragon boat race of the provincial, national or even world class. We hope Dongping will become more famous through this activity,' said Zhao Dejian, the mayor of Dongping County.

'We all love the boat race. In Australia, there are many associations of dragon boat race. We hold dragon boat race at different seasons. I'm very happy to come here to take part in the dragon boat race and meet players from all over the world,' said Kelly Jang, the player from the Fire Dragon team of Australia.

During the event, the county will also hold the Water Margin Culture Tour, providing tourists with 21 activities including the Dongping Lake wetland picking festival, and folk culture performances.

In the harvest months of August and September, fishermen in Dongping harvest water chestnut and catch fish and shrimps. In order to celebrate the harvest, people hold the dragon boat race in autumn, which has lasted more than 400 years and become a unique event of the local area. In 2009, the county held the National Dragon Boat Invitational and was designated as the ideal place to hold the race.

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