Closing ceremony wraps up 17day global aquatics competition

GWANGJU, The closing ceremony of the FINA World Championships Gwangju 2019 took place in the southwestern metropolitan city Sunday featuring the region's seasonal wonders in various forms.

The closing ceremony, wrapping up the 17day global aquatics competition that opened in Gwangju on July 12, consisted of two parts an hourlong cultural performance that began at 5 p.m. at the Asia Culture Center and the official event at the Nambu University Municipal Aquatics Center.

The cultural performance featured the characteristic of water circulating in nature and the southern region's seasonal wonders and human life cycles under the theme Circle of Life.

Ahead of the performance, Gwangju Mayor Lee Yongsup, who served as the head of the Organizing Committee of the FINA World Championships Gwangju 2019, expressed his thanks to all athletes and FINA officials. I appreciate FINA President Julio Maglione and other officials of the International Swimming Federation for cooperating for the success of the Gwangju championships. I also express my deep gratitude to all athletes from across the world and the Korean people for their support, Lee said.

Prime Minister Lee Nakyon said in his congratulatory address that all South Koreans and the entire world were pleased and moved by the passion and fair competition by athletes.

The wave of peace has risen up from Gwangju to the other parts of the world during the FINA World Champions Gwangju 2019 and I'm very pleased at its successful conclusion, the prime minister said, thanking all Gwangju citizens and visitors for making the championships an outstanding event.

The cultural performance, taking a cue from the atmosphere and tastes of four seasons expressed in Song of Mount Seongsan, an ancient poem, displayed the life of a traditional singer against the backdrop of spring, summer, fall and winter landscapes.

Members of the Gwangju City Ballet and other artists born in the city or living in the southwestern province took part in the performance. The spring scene featured Nam Misun, a famous haeseum (twostringed fiddle) player who was born in Gwangju in 1980, while Lee Soyeon, who appeared in the fall scene, is a member of the National Changgeuk Co. of Korea and starred in the musical Seopyeonje. Two children who performed in the spring and summer scenes were selected through an audition.

A performance by South Korea's renowned pansori singer Ahn Sooksun in the winter scene was the highlight of the cultural performance. Electric guitarist Yang Jiwan put on a joint performance with the pansori singer. The performance was directed by Korean dance expert Guk Suho, Choi Taeji, head of the Gwangju City Ballet, and lighting director Lee Sangbong.

A farewell dinner was held at a restaurant of the Asia Culture Center after the performance, with the attendance of about 200 dignitaries, including Prime Minister Lee, Mayor Lee and FINA officials.

The official closing ceremony event kicked off at 10:40 p.m. at the Nambu University Municipal Aquatics Center after the finals of competitive swimming.

The event proceeded in the order of the entry of the national flags of 194 participating countries, lowering and transferring of the championships flag, introduction of the next host city and declaration of closure. The next FINA World Championships will take place in Fukuoka, Japan, in 2021.

Source: Yonhap news Agency

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