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Karnataka’s first National Dragon Boat Championship is a big hit 

The four-day long 11th Dragon Boat Championship held in Udupi, Karnataka will see 700 participating competing in different events

Karnataka’s Madisalu river in Udupi district is witnessing a flurry of activity at the ongoing four-day long 11th National Dragon Boat Championship which is being held in the State for the first time. Located near Heroor in the coastal district, the river has several dragon boats vying for accolades in this event which started on February 23 and is attracting people in droves.

There are 700 participants hailing from different States who are participating in this championship which is being organised by the District Administration in association with Indian Kayaking and Canoeing Association. The participants with their boats arrived at the venue before the event to practice.

Designed to look like a dragon’s head, these boats have a tail carved out in the rear. The boats will compete in 200 metres, 500 metres and 2 km races organised in the championship.

In this water sports event 22 people sit in a boat which is narrow and among them one person sits in the front to beat a drum and encourage the team while another is a coxswain who steers the boat. The rest of the members work on the oars.

The event is important as those who are selected in this championship will be eligible to participate in Asian Games scheduled to be held in September-October this year.

Sharing details K. Raghupathi Bhat, a Member of Legislative Assembly told the media that 25 participants in every category — men, women and mix — will be selected to participate in the Asian Games.

Bhat added that successful holding of dragon boat races which has become a competitive global event will help in showcasing Udupi as a place for holding water sports championships in future.