Posted November. 06, 2010 10:08,
The event to draw the most attention at the Guangzhou Asian Games starting next week is the dragon boat competition, a traditional Chinese water sport.
The boat race has 22 crew members comprising 20 paddlers in pairs, one drummer at the bow, and one helmsman at the rear of the 11 meter-long, dragon-shaped boat. With six gold medals up for grabs, the event is popular not only in China, but also in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand.
Korea will send its mens dragon boat team consisting of canoeists to compete in the 1,000 meters.
Ballroom dance, or dancesport, will make its debut as an official event in the Guangzhou Asiad. Ten medals will be awarded in eight events, including one in the standard division of waltz, tango, quickstep, foxtrot and the Viennese waltz and another in and the Latin American division comprising cha cha, rumba, jive, samba and paso doble.
Eight gold medals will be awarded in individual dances excluding the Viennese waltz and rumba.
The board game go and Chinese chess will also be introduced in the Asiad. The Korean national go team led by Lee Chang-ho and Lee Se-dol will compete in group and pair events for three golds.
Kabaddi, a traditional Indian recreational combat training that debuted at the 1990 Beijing Asiad, will see Korea compete for the first time. In the event, two teams of seven players each occupy opposite halves of a field, and a team wins a point if an attacker called a raider touches an opposite team member and returns to its home half.
○ Seven events to be eliminated
The Guangzhou competition will be all the more interesting since this will be the last venue for unique events.
Events appear and disappear more frequently in the Asiad than in the Olympics because the Olympic Council of Asia is more aggressive in introducing new events. The influence of host countries in adopting events that reflect their cultures, however, have led to the disproportionate growth of the Asian Games.
Including taekwondo, which made its debut in the 1986 Asian Games in Seoul, karate and dragon boat are expected to be eliminated after the Guangzhou competition.
The council will reduce the number of events to 35 for the Incheon Asian Games in 2014. In addition to the 28 events in the Olympics, seven of the eight events of baseball, bowling, kabaddi, sepak takraw, softball, squash, wushu and cricket will be adopted.