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Berlin City Cup features dragon boat races in blaze of colour (with photo)

     For the third consecutive year, the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Berlin (HKETO Berlin), has sponsored the annual Berlin City Cup dragon boat races held in Berlin-Grünau, Germany. More than 70 teams from all over Germany took part in the 19th City Cup, which is Berlin's largest water sports event, on June 25 and 26 (Berlin time).

     At the award ceremony, the Director of HKETO Berlin, Ms Betty Ho, presented trophies to the winning teams. Ms Ho said she was impressed by the enthusiasm and passion of the athletes and the audience, and made reference to the long tradition of dragon boat races in Hong Kong. "The Hong Kong Dragon Boat Carnival attracts not only the world's best dragon boat racers to the international competition in the Asian metropolis, but also hundreds of thousands of spectators who watch the boats speeding across the water in Victoria Harbour every year in June," Ms Ho said.

     Dragon boat racing has its origin in China and dates back more than 2,200 years. It commemorates the death of the poet Qu Yuan, who took his life in the Miluo River because of grievances in the country. When local villagers learned of his death, they took their boats out to the river, hit the water with their paddles and beat drums to keep the corpse safe from fish. Some say that this is the origin of dragon boat racing and the Dragon Boat Festival.

     Hong Kong, as Asia's world city where East meets West, has celebrated this traditional Chinese festival by hosting the Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Races since 1976. This year, more than 5,000 athletes in 200 teams from 11 countries came to Hong Kong to compete against each other at the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Carnival. The highlight of the three-day Carnival was the sight of the fierce-looking dragon boats, with ornately carved and painted dragon heads and tails, being pushed through the water by highly motivated athletes. At the waterfront, the cheerful crowd enjoyed non-stop music, live entertainment and ice-cold beer.

     In Berlin, sports fans and families enjoyed the annual dragon boat-themed tug of war, as well as culinary and musical highlights, alongside the thrilling competition on the water. Following the City Cup in Berlin, HKETO Berlin will also sponsor the dragon boat race in Zurich from July 2 to 3 during the triennial Züri Fäscht (Zurich Festival).

About the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Berlin

     HKETO Berlin is the official Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government representative in commercial relations and other economic and trade matters in Germany as well as Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia and Switzerland.

Ends/Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Issued at HKT 16:14


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