Thailand sweeps Asian Dragon Boat Championships


Four hundred oarsmen rowing to the beat of a drum pounded the Pattaya seas to take home the Asian Dragon Boat Championship title at Bali Hai Pier.

Sponsored by city hall, the Royal Thai Navy and the Rowing & Canoeing Association of Thailand, the Feb. 7-8 races saw Thailand sweep all major races and post the highest overall medal count with 16 gold medals, three silvers and a bronze.

Literally neck and neck towards the finish line. Literally neck and neck towards the finish line.

Dragon boats offer a unique twist on classing rowing sculls, with an effigy of a dragon on the prow and a drummer sitting in the stern to keep time for the five to 22 rowers. Teams from Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, India and Vietnam also participated.

Rowers splashed it out over 18 races, with Thai teams taking the signature contests.

The 2000-meter race for co-ed teams of 10 rowers saw Thailand finish first at 12:09.71, India second at 12:34.78 and Hong Kong third at 12:41.38.

Only two teams participated in the 22-man 500-meter race, which finished Thailand first at 2:08.48 and Laos second at 2:15.29.

The five-man 200-meter race had Thailand first at 0:53:47, Indonesia second at 0:53.67 and Laos third at 0:57.40.

In the Division 10 female oarsmen 2,000-meter race, Thailand finished first with a 13.19.90 time, India second with 13.44.56 and co-third were the Philippines and Hong Kong with 15.06.81.

Thailand also finished first in the Division 10 female oarsmen 500-meter race with a time of 2.38.79. Taipei came second at 2.44.45 and India third at 2.48.47.

Finally, in the 5 female oarsmen 200-meter race Thailand B came first in 1.01.93, Thailand A finished second at 1.02.71 and Taipei third with a time of 1.08.64.