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The first leg of the China Dragon Boat Tournament for the Year of the Dragon completed on Thursday. The traditional boat race is a popular annual event.
The China Dragon Boat Tournament of 2012 finished its first stop on Thursday in Wanning City in Hainan Province. The annual competition, which began on Wednesday, will make nine more stops around China.
This was the first year women were allowed to participate, and four women's teams competed in Wanning. The Jiujiang Women's Team from east China's Jiangxi Province took the gold in both the 200 and the 500 meter women's races.
[Liu Xuelian, Rower for Jiujiang Women's Team]:
"It is a good start. We won our first event. We competed well. I am satisfied with the result."
For the men's division, the Shunde Longzhou Club from Guangdong Province, who was last year's champion, placed first in both events.
[Pan Guangde, Coach of Shunde Longzhou Club]:
"The dragon boat race, because there are a lot of rowers, more than 20, is a sport with the most team members. Therefore, I think the entire team must follow my orders and act upon my directions. They must be willing to work hard, it is very important."
In total, 12 men's and four women's teams competed in Wanning. The next stop for the 2012 China Dragon Boat Tournament will be in southwest China's Yunnan Province on March 24.