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Zhuhai to host aviation, tennis and circus stars

By Qi Ryan (The Telegraph)

Updated: 2016-11-04

It's going to be a busy November in the city of Zhuhai which will host Airshow China, an elite WTA event and the third China International Circus Festival.

The world-famous Red Arrows will perform during the 11th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition, also known as Airshow China, in Zhuhai, Guangdong province, which will be held on Nov 1-6.

It is the first time that the Red Arrows has participated in the show. It has been seen as a major breakthrough for China’s air show in co-operating with Western aerobatics teams.

Accordingly, the team will perform a 26-minute show with 12 BAe Systems Hawk trainer aircraft.

Officially known as the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows is a world-famous aerobatics display team from the Britain’s Royal Air Force, and was formed in late 1964.

M.J. Higgins, the team leader, said he is looking forward to the event. “With the completed safeguarding work and the co-operation of the Zhuhai air traffic control administration, I believe we can deliver an international-standard air show to the Chinese audience,” Mr Higgins said.

The Bayi Aerobatic Team of the Chinese PLA Air Force will also perform during the event. In addition, the Fierce Dragon jet fighters from the Pakistan Air Force will also attend.

Russian Knights and the Swifts air force aerobatic squadrons will also perform in Zhuhai with their Su-27 and MiG-29 fighters. It will be the first time the Knights and Swifts have co-operated in an air show performance outside Russia.

In order to adapt to the expanding scale of Airshow China and the demand of participators, Zhuhai has reconstructed its aerospace centre. The new exhibition centre contains seven exhibition halls, occupying 71,041 sq ft with a height of 49ft.

The international and professional aspects are an air show’s key competitiveness, and with the support from companies home and abroad, Airshow China has gained more and more influence worldwide.

In addition to the presence of companies from Russia, Ukraine, France, the Czech Republic, the US, Canada, South Korea, the Netherlands and New Zealand, it will be the first time that Austrian companies have participated in Airshow China.


World stage: a performance at the China International Circus Festival [Photo/China Daily]

The organisers have invited 100 foreign military delegations, including defence ministers, air force commanders and army commanders from Europe, the US, Asia and Africa, to Zhuhai.

More than 130 planes from 42 countries and regions will participate in the air show, and nine British companies, including AIM Altitude, Flightglobal and Rolls-Royce, will be at the event.

As China is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the establishment of its aerospace projects this year, China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation is bringing 422 products to the air show this year, displaying its achievements in the aerospace industry and its technology’s effect on the national economy.

Moreover, Chinese companies, such as China North Industries Group, China South Industries Group, China Electronics Technology Group and China Electronics Corp, will display their latest electronic information equipment products: air defence and missile defence systems, radar systems, communication equipment, electronic countermeasures, main battle tanks and infantry combat vehicles.

WTA Elite Trophy

In addition to Airshow China, the upcoming Women’s Tennis Association tournament is also attracting the world’s attention to Zhuhai.

The tournament will start on Nov 1 and it will be the second year that Zhuhai has hosted the event.

The WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai is a high-level tennis tournament that the association has specially created for the city of Zhuhai. Players ranked between 9 and 19 will participate in the event. This year, the prize money has risen to $2.21 million (£1.77 million).

Steffi Graf, a tennis player who was ranked world No 1 during her career, with 22 Grand Slam singles titles, will be the global ambassador for the Elite Trophy Zhuhai this year.

“I am so pleased to be the ambassador for the WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai,” said Ms Graf. “Such a prestigious event in the beautiful city of Zhuhai will go a long way towards supporting the expansion of women’s tennis.

“I have heard great reports from the players and through the press about last year’s event, and I can’t wait to visit and be a part of the tournament this year.

“It’s exciting to see Steffi as the official ambassador of the Elite Trophy,” the WTA’s CEO Steve Simon, said. “She is one of our greatest and most respected players, with so many players viewing her as their role model. Getting her endorsement is another solid testament to Zhuhai’s prestigious status.”

Tournament director Peter Johnston echoed Mr Simon’s sentiment, predicting that Graf’s involvement will provide a big boost for the event’s international profile.

“As the Elite Trophy continues to grow and its global profile increases, it’s another important milestone to have the endorsement of such a great champion,” said Mr Johnston.

“We look forward to working with Steffi in advance promotions and welcoming her during the event week.”

According to the WTA’s current ranking, British tennis player Johanna Konta, who ranks 11th, might compete in the tournament.

Additionally, Carla Navarro from Spain, who ranks ninth, Svetlana Kuznetsova from Russia (10th), Petra Kvitova from the Czech Republic (12th), Venus Williams from the US (13th), Roberta Vinci from ltaly (14th), Timea Bacsinszky from Switzerland (15th) and many other top tennis players are also expected to participate.

Chinese player Zhang Shuai will also compete in the tournament as the only domestic wild card entrant.

Landing the WTA tournament, which will run through to 2019, has built on existing urban attractions in the city to add more sporting vigour to its character.

Last year, many in the tennis world were surprised by Zhuhai, as the construction of all related infrastructure and preparations were finished within a year.

And this year, the organisers upgraded the promotion of the event with a series of warm-up activities, which have already started months before the tournament. Apart from the carnival, which will create a special memory of Zhuhai and enhance the audience’s experience of the tournament, the Savour Food Festival will appear in the 1,593-sq-ft, 5,000-seat Hengqin International Tennis Centre during the tournament for the first time, in which chefs of Michelin Star restaurants from several countries will come together.

Zhuhai, which boasts scenic coastal views and an eco-friendly industrial system, has been designated the most livable city in China by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences three times in the past couple of years. And the city has become a preferred destination for more and more international events.

Shortly after the two big events in early November, the city will usher in a top-notch international circus extravaganza – the third China International Circus Festival will be in town Nov 18-26.

About 200 performers from 19 countries and regions worldwide will show off 29 breathtaking programmes – including farce, aerial and stage acrobatic performances, magic and animal-taming – 25 of which will be from abroad.

Click here to read the original article on The Telegraph


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