Chinese kayak race turns violent

A kayak race in Nanchang, located in the Chinese province of Jiangxi, turned violent last week when two teams came to blows while still out on the water. The brawl broke out when one team intentionally rammed its boat into the other, causing both squads to start swinging their paddles at one another.

The fight took place during the four-man, 2000 meter finals in the Chinese City Games, when the home team from Nanchang drifted into the lane that belonged to the paddlers from Guangzhou. Incensed by this intrusion, the Guangzhou squad paddled directly into their rivals, prompting them to strike back. While swinging their paddles, the Nanchang team hit one of their competitors square in the face, cutting him deeply. Covered in blood, the man would later be rushed to the hospital.

The incident comes as China is attempting to clear up its image heading into the 2012 Olympics. The organizers of the City Games warned the competitors that doping, lying about their age, or unsportsmanlike conduct would result in swift and severe punishment. As a result of their actions, the Nanchang kayaking squad was disqualified from the competition.

The paddlers weren’t the only ones getting in on the action either. Apparently the women’s under-18 soccer tourney saw a benchs clearing brawl as well. Apparently, they take their sports very seriously in China.

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