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Sepaktakraw, the sporting 'martial arts'

chinadaily.com.cn| Updated: May 3, 2022 L M S


An image photo of sepaktakraw of the 19th Asian Games. [Photo/hangzhou2022.cn]

The Jinhua Sports Center Gymnasium will serve as the host venue for sepaktakraw competitions during the 19th Asian Games from Sept 11 to 24. Athletes will compete for six gold medals in the sport.

The 2022 National Sepaktakraw Championships will be held in the Jinhua Sports Center Gymnasium in May, where members of the Chinese sepaktakraw team for the Asian Games will be selected.

Sepaktakraw was first included in the Asian Games in 1990, when it was first played in Beijing, and it has since been included in the following seven editions of the Games.

It is generally believed that sepaktakraw was played as early as the 9th century. Traditionally a game played by Malays in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei, sepaktakraw is now also played in other Southeast Asian countries such as the Philippines, Thailand, Burma and Laos.

It is known by various names - sepak raga, sipa, takraw, ching loong or kator. Modern sepaktakraw originated in Malaysia and combines elements of soccer, volleyball, baseball, badminton, gymnastics and the ancient sport of sepak raga. Balls woven of rattan stems have primarily been replaced by woven synthetic balls, which are much safer and more durable.

Sepaktakraw is played on a court with a hand-woven ball (takraw) by teams made up of two or three people on each side. Points are scored by hitting the ball above the net and into the court (about the size of a badminton court) as opposing players attempt to "block". In separktakraw games, players can use their feet, legs, shoulders and head to keep the ball in play, but can't use their hands.

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