This year’s Macao International Dragon Boat Races grand final in the Open Category (500 meters) was won by the Thailand National Team in the men’s category and China’s NanHai Jiujiang in the women’s category.
In the last races of a program that finished last Friday afternoon, China’s NanHai Jiujiang women’s team stepped up to win first place over the Myanmar and Thailand National Teams, who placed second and third, respectively.
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The Chinese women’s team won with a run that clocked in at 2:03.439 in a heated grand final race, with the Myanmar team finishing only 0.122 seconds behind the Chinese team.
In the men’s category, the win went to the Thailand National Team, who clocked in with a time of 1:53.114, with the advantage of a 0.436 second gap over China’s NanHai Jiujiang, who came second. Third place in the men’s category went to the SJM Golden Jubilee team, the only local team to score a podium position at the grand finals.
The finals were held over the Tuen Ng Festival, concluding a program that started with the previews weekend, during which the local part of the competition was held.
The prizes were handed to winners by Chief Executive Chui Sai On in the presence of several other notable guests, including Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Alexis Tam and President of the Sports Bureau Pun Weng Kun among others.
Meanwhile, in other parts of China, similar competitions were held Friday and through the weekend.
In Hong Kong, competitors took part in the races in Aberdeen Harbor. Accompanied by the beat of the drums, the boats raced against each other to the finish line, where the winner received a victory flag. Afterward, competing teams used their paddles to splash water at each other, a way to share good fortune.
In Taiwan, dozens of teams took part in races in Taipei.
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The Dragon Boat Festival commemorates the death of Qu Yuan, a Chinese poet and politician who is said to have drowned himself more than 2,000 years ago to protest against government corruption.
Legend has it that locals wanting to prevent fish from eating Qu’s remains splashed water and pounded drums to scare them away. They also threw rice dumplings in the water to feed the fish.