Dragon Boat Race Final of the 13th National Games for the Masses Held Successfully in Changde
Changde has successfully held the Dragon Boat Race Final of the Thirteenth National Games for the Masses in Liuye Lake from 15th to 17th , July in 2017, sparing no efforts during the last few months. It is also the first time that Changde hosted the National Games. CCTV-5 has been broadcasting the game alive for 3 consecutive days, 3 hours each day.
2017 is the first year that dragon boat race is included in the National Games for the masses. No professional player is allowed to participate in the game in accordance with the competition regulations, i.e., only the masses can sign up, in response to the nationwide fitness campaign. Lots of people were intrigued and entered their name for the competition. Ultimately, there were 24 teams composed of 654 players from 16 provinces and special administrative regions across the country gathering together in Changde competing for 12 gold medals. All participants were categorized into male teams and female teams. The dragon boats standardized for 12 and 22 players were adopted for the game and 100-meter, 200-meter and 500-meter straightway races were set. The statistics show that 756 medals were handed out in total since there were up to 26 players in each team. Therefore, the dragon boat race final for the masses awarded most medals and gold medals of the 13th National Games.
Liuye Lake, the host venue, is considered as a basement of excellent quality for outdoor sports, where a lot of large-scale events were held before, for example, Asian Canoeing Championship and Hunan Dragon Boat Race, etc. As one of the largest city lakes in China, Liuye Lake covers an area of 21.8 square kilometers, three times as large as West Lake of Hangzhou. It is named national 4A-level scenic spot integrating various recreational functions where you can not only enjoy beautiful scenery, but you also do some sports while on vacation. Unfortunately, heavy rain and devastating flood struck the whole Hunan Province just before the game, causing water level rising rapidly above the warning level. Faced with the unprecedented challenge, relevant units of Changde took active parts in. For instance, Changde Water Conservancy Bureau arranged urgently all-weather drainage in order to lower the water level to meet the requested standard for the game; weather forecast was in place at any time in case of any emergency; and Changde Bureau of Environmental Protection conducted all-round work ensuring the quality of environment and air condition. All redoubled efforts paid off since the event was held successfully and concluded satisfactorily.
On 15th July, Zhou Derui, mayor of Changde City Government, presided over the opening ceremony. And Xiang Lili, vice governor of Hunan Province Government, attended and addressed the ceremony. Then, Zhao Yong, vice president of State General Administration of Sports, declared officially the tournament open. He said, “As one of the cradles of dragon boat, Changde has absorbed the spirit of pulling together, forging ahead and being the pioneers, which deserves carrying forward energetically.” The opening ceremony started with poetry recitation, Fisherman, delivered by students from Changde Zhilan Experimental School, which was written by the ancient patriotic poet – Qu Yuan during his exile in Changde. Subsequently, art troupe from Wuling District presented the show Welcome to Changde with Changde Sixian, which was regarded as one of the rather influential forms in Chinese national folk music. Afterwards, folk artists from Lixian performed with a group of drums The Kings of Drum Sing the Prosperous Time. All performances and activities presented Changde’s unique and local culture to people in all parts of China.
During the first competition day, male team and female team of Guangdong won the championship in 500-meter straightway for 22-player dragon boat, in the meantime, the same female team was the winner of 500-meter straightway for 12-player dragon boat as well. The male team of Jilin defeated other competitors and took the crown of 500-meter straightway for 12-player dragon boat. On the following day, fierce as same as the first day, dragon boat race final continued. Good news still came to teams of Guangdong, pocketing another three championships while team of Jilin took a gold medal. Furthermore, teams of Guangdong still kept the strong momentum and made a clean sweep of gold medals (10 gold medals in all) by the end of the game, becoming the biggest winner of Dragon Boat Race Final of 13th National Games for the Masses. At last, the 3-day dragon boat race final was concluded satisfactorily in applause on 17th July.
In the past three days of hotly contested competition, the athletes’ “fighting on the water” left a deep impression on the viewers. And audience coming from all over the country, in return, cheered up and applauded to players filled with enthusiasm despite of the hot weather. Volunteers have devoted themselves to offering full-service, winning high appraisal from every unit present. According to Wang Ao, director of Changde Bureau of Culture, Sports, Broadcasting, Press and Publication, there were 120 people in competition committee and over 150 relevant staff to prepare and organize the event, more than 500 security personnel to keep the order, around 300 volunteers to offer service and 9 yachts patrolling on the lake for protection and rescue. It is estimated that more than 50,000 people have been on the spot, including players, referees, honored guests, volunteers, journalists and audience. However, the well-done organization and reception of Changde have earned unanimous favorable comments of people from all walks of life.
Dragon Boat Race of the Thirteenth National Games for the Masses was oriented by public participation and people’s satisfaction, hereby, strengthening people’s sense of gain. Changde has grasped the opportunity through hosting the game to show the world its beauty, enthusiasm and progress, making the dragon boat race final ‘the gala of sports, the festival of people’. It is not only the honor of Changde, but also the honor of Hunan!