International students at East China Normal University in the first lane win the dragon boat race on Saturday.
East China Normal University reigned supreme at the 11th International Students' Dragon Boat Race in Shanghai on Saturday at the Fengxian Campus of East China University of Science and Technology.
It was the third consecutive year the university has taken first place in the competition, exclusively for foreign students who are studying in local colleges.
Fudan University and Shanghai Maritime University took the second prizes, while Donghua University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University and East China University of Science and Technology claimed third.
International students from 28 local universities attended the competition, which began in 2008 and has been an annual spree for international students to experience traditional Chinese culture.
There are more than 60,000 foreign students from about 200 countries studying in Shanghai universities, slightly higher than last year, according to Yang Weiren, director of the international exchanges department of the Shanghai Education Commission.
He added that the proportion of international students seeking academic diplomas in Shanghai has seen an increase.
Colleges around the city have developed various cultural courses and activities so that foreign students can experience Chinese cultures, including calligraphy, tai chi, Chinese ancient zither, Peking Opera and more.
Race on the Suzhou Creek
Meanwhile, over 50 teams from both home and abroad competed in the city’s annual dragon boat race along the Suzhou Creek over the weekend.
A total of 944 professional and amateur athletes, including those from the United States, Germany, Switzerland and France, competed with the top dragon boat racers from the city and across China. They raced on 200- and 500-meter long sections of the creek in Putuo District on Saturday and Sunday.
The team from Dali Town of Foshan City in south Guangdong Province won the top prize at the Putuo leg of the 2018 China Dragon Boat Championship on Sunday. The teams from the Shanghai Qianwei Sports Association, the Putuo police station, Caoyang vocational school and Shanghai Maritime University also won prizes in various group competitions.
As a highlight of this year’s event, the German football club Borussia Dortmund also competed with other teams. Players also held an exhibition on the river bank to showcase the history and culture of their club.
Apart from the club, organizers have also invited foreign companies and organizations based in Shanghai to participate. Teams from sports retailer Decathlon and Emlyon Business School competed in the open and invitation races over the weekend.
The Suzhou Creek dragon boat race was launched in 2004 to show the results of a clean-up campaign. The local government has invested some 14 billion yuan (US$2.2 billion) to improve the water quality of the creek between 1998 and 2011.