Over 200 teams from Asia and beyond compete at Macau dragon boat races

2024-06-10 23:03     Comment:0

    The 2024 Macau International Dragon Boat Races took place at the peninsula's Nam Van Lake between Saturday and yesterday with over 200 teams from Asia and beyond taking part.

   Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR) Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng attended the races. Ho performed the traditional eye-dotting ceremony and presided over the award presentation ceremony.  Zheng Xincong, director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the MSAR, Liu Xianfa, commissioner from the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China in the MSAR Liu Xianfa, Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Elsie Ao Ieong U, Claudio Schermi, president of the International Dragon Boat Federation, and other senior officials also attended the event. The races were organised by the Macau Sports Bureau (ID), consisting of the small dragon boat race, government departments' race, standard dragon boat race, international invitation race, and the university student invitation race.

   In today's races, mainland China's Nanhai Jiujiang team defended their international invitation race championships in both the open and women's categories, while Liaocheng University took the university invitation race title. "We are comprised of different strokes, different fitness levels and different ladies, but we are all 100 percent strong," said Thea Pabillore, captain of the Singapore Dragon Boat Association women's team, adding that the team was "super happy to be here" and hoped to return next year.

    The "Celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Establishment of the Macau SAR – 2024 SJM Macao International Dragon Boat Races’ featured a tight schedule packed with fierce races. After several rounds of races, six teams entered the Grand Final of the Macau International Invitation Standard Dragon Boat Race Open category, comprising the SJM Golden Jubilee, Guangzhou Xiangying Club, China Nanhai Jiujiang, Thailand National Team, Macau, China Selection Team, and Cambodia National Team. China Nanhai Jiujiang was slightly ahead at the start of the race, followed closely by the other teams. Midway through the race, China Nanhai Jiujiang, Thailand National Team and Macau China Selection Team were the frontrunners. In the end, China Nanhai Jiujiang secured the championship, clocking up 1:53.735, followed by the Thailand National Team (1:54.493), and Macau, China Selection Team completed the top three with a time of 1:55.639. The 4th to 6th places went to Guangzhou Xiangying Club, SJM Golden Jubilee and Cambodia National Team, respectively.

    In the Women’s category, the six teams in the Grand Final were Macau, China Selection Team, Thailand National Team, China Nanhai Jiujiang, Indonesia Rowing and Canoeing Association, Philippine Dragon Boat Federation and Hong Kong China Team. In the early stages, China Nanhai Jiujiang held a slight lead. With 100 metres left in the race, China Nanhai Jiujiang and Indonesian Rowing and Canoeing Association were fighting hard for the title. China Nanhai Jiujiang won the championship, clocking up 2:02.160.  Indonesia Rowing and Canoeing Association and Thailand National Team came in second and third, respectively, followed by Macau, China Selection Team, Philippine Dragon Boat Federation, and Hong Kong, China Team.

  In the Macau University Student Invitation Standard Dragon Boat Race, Liaocheng University won the championship with a time of 1:56.329, followed by Nanyang Technological University of Singapore and Kasetsart University of Thailand. The 4th to 6th places went to Macao Polytechnic University, Macau University of Science and Technology (MUST) and University of Macau (UM).

  The Best Drummer award went to Fong Si Man of SJM Lotus, while Cheung Shu Yeung of Iao Lok won the Best Steersman award.

   The annual Dragon Boat Festival falls on the fifth day of the fifth month according to the Chinese lunar calendar, June 10 this year. 

- Xinhua, ID, MPD

MSAR Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng (centre) officiates at Macau's international dragon boat races today. - Photo: GCS

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