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60 teams battle it out at Dragon Boat Festival


PUTRAJAYA: Catch 60 local and international teams battle it out during the three-day Dragon Boat Festival at the Putrajaya Sports Complex here in Precinct 6 from today till Sunday.

Teams comprising 1,500 participants from 14 countries, including Canada, Australia, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia, are expected to take part in the event.

The teams were seen training at the Putrajaya Maritime Centre yesterday and on Wednesday during the official training sessions and one of them was the Plurabelle Paddlers from Ireland.

Clad in green, the year-old breast cancer support group may be novices but they are ready to take on the challenge.

According to team captain Fiona Tiernan, 27, they arrived in Malaysia last weekend but had been training twice a week since May.

She credited their coach Julie Doyle, who paddles for the Great Britain Dragon Boat Team, for training the team which comprises members in their early 30s with the oldest member at age 72.

“We are the first dragon boat team in Ireland and have taken part in the Dublin Dragon Boat Regatta,” she said.

Also training yesterday was the Singapore Polytechnic team.

Team member Benjamin Yu said this was the second time they were competing in the race and had been training five days a week over the past few months.

Also training for the race was the StarMetro all-female team. This will be their maiden race.

For the first time, the International Dragon Boat Federation (IDBF) is hosting its inaugural Cancer Survivors World Cup 2011 in Malaysia in conjunction with the Malaysia International Dragon Boat Festival 2011 which is being held at the Water Sports Complex for the third year running.

The event is organised by W.P. Putrajaya Dragon Boat Association (WPPDBA) in collaboration with Putrajaya Corporation (PPJ), Youth and Sports Ministry, Tourism Malaysia, Federal Territory and Urban Wellbeing Ministry, Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Ministry and Malaysia Dragon Boat Association (MDBA) in affiliation with the International Dragon Boat Federation (IDBF).

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