Over 80 teams from home and abroad will take part in the city’s annual dragon boat race along the Suzhou Creek next weekend.
About 1,000 professional and amateur athletes, including some from Germany, France, Canada, Spain, Switzerland and Norway, will compete with top dragon boat racers from the city and across China.
They will race on 200- and 500-meter sections of the creek in Putuo District on June 1-2 ahead of this year’s Dragon Boat Festival on June 7.
Over 200 local police officers will take part in the annual competition for the first time. They will compete with each other in 36 teams.
The Suzhou Creek dragon boat race was launched in 2004 to highlight the results of a cleanup campaign. It has become an important fixture in Putuo as it attempts to showcase the city’s commitment to the environment and rapid urban development, said Gu Weiling, director of the Putuo sports bureau.
Putuo has been dedicated to improving Suzhou Creek’s water quality since the 1980s and intends to develop the area into an ecological zone and an ideal place for living, working and innovation, Gu said.
Apart from the race, an exhibition about China’s traditional Dragon Boat Festival culture will be held in Mengqing Park along the creek.
This year’s exhibition will be themed on the 70th anniversary of the founding of People’s Republic of China as well as the renovation campaign for the Suzhou Creek waterfront. The park will open to the public between 9am and midday on June 2.