Published: 11:01, June 12, 2024
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Guangzhou to host international dragon boat race
By Qiu Quanlin in Guangzhou
People take part in a dragon boat racing in Guangzhou, south China's Guangdong Province, June 15, 2023. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

An international dragon boat invitation tournament is scheduled to open in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, on Sunday, showcasing the rich cultural tradition of Dragon Boat Festival with the participation of dozens of international racing teams, according to the organizers.

The tournament, to be held on a section of the Pearl River, which runs through the city, will include 111 boat racing teams. Nineteen will be from countries and regions including the United States, Canada, Malaysia, Kazakhstan, the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions and overseas business organizations.

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Six teams — from the cities of Foshan, Huizhou, Dongguan and Zhaoqing in Guangdong, and Qingyuan and Longyan in neighboring Fujian province — will also participate, according to the organizers.

To promote the tournament and the traditional Dragon Boat Festival atmosphere, the organizers have planned a series of pre-competition activities at campuses and in local communities.

"Through learning and experiencing the dragon boat culture, young people can better understand and feel the unique charm of boat racing culture in Guangdong," said Lin Yanfen, deputy director of the tournament's organizing committee.

Lin said this year's races will include 600-meter straight-line sprints for dragon boats with 22 crew in four categories: men's open, women's open, men's international and university.

The competition will also feature a colorful dragon competition, with rankings determined by on-site scoring. Traditional dragon boat and lion dance performances will also be held to showcase the unique traditional culture of Guangdong.

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Boat races and other traditional cultural activities were widely held in Guangdong on Monday, the day of the traditional Dragon Boat Festival, which falls on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese lunar calendar.

In the waterside township of Shatian in Dongguan, one dragon boat crew consisted of mothers ranging in age from 28 to 62.

"The younger generations should pass on the tradition as the spirit of teamwork and striving for excellence, as demonstrated in the dragon boat race, is something that we still need in our daily lives," said crew member Guo Yanting, 38.

Guo joined the Shatian team in 2019 and traveled to the US to participate in an international dragon boat race. After a long selection process, she became a member of the Guangdong provincial dragon boat team in 2021 and is now preparing for China's 15th National Games next year.