Marathons must be bet­ter man­aged

China Daily (Canada) - - COMMENT -

have be­come in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar in China and many cities are keen on hold­ing a marathon to help build their im­age. As a re­sult more and more marathon or­ga­niz­ing com­pa­nies have emerged and are com­pet­ing to make money from th­ese events. But the or­ga­niz­ers should be more pro­fes­sional and avoid in­ap­pro­pri­ate be­hav­ior that un­der­mines the sport­ing spirit and cre­ates an un­healthy marathon cul­ture. ThePaper.cn com­ments:

In the 13th Nan­ning In­ter­na­tional Marathon held on Sun­day, an Ethiopian run­ner who reached the fin­ish­ing line first was sud­denly dragged to stop by an or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tee staff mem­ber im­me­di­ately af­ter he crossed the line, which pro­voked heated pub­lic con­tro­versy.

A per­son­nel of Nan­ning Sports Bureau said that it was done to pro­tect the run­ner be­cause he al­most col­lapsed at the end of the race. But many peo­ple ar­gue that bring­ing a run­ner to a sud­den stop like that may be harm­ful.

Even though the ac­tions of or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tee staff were well-in­ten­tioned, they should be crit­i­cized for un­pro­fes­sional be­hav­iors that may be harm­ful to the run­ners.

In re­cent years, marathons have be­come a pop­u­lar sport­ing event na­tion­wide. In 2017, there were 1,102 marathon races in 234 cities among 31 prov­inces, mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties and re­gions on the Chi­nese mainland, and the to­tal num­ber of par­tic­i­pants

was more than 4.98 mil­lion.

But a suc­cess­ful marathon re­quires good or­ga­ni­za­tion. Which is not al­ways the case as the ca­pa­bil­i­ties of many of China’s race or­ga­niz­ers still lag far be­hind those of their coun­ter­parts in many other coun­tries.

In the Suzhou Taihu Marathon on Nov 18, He Yinli came sec­ond af­ter she was knocked out of her stride be­cause she was in­ter­rupted by vol­un­teers who in­sisted on hand­ing the na­tional flag to her be­fore she reached the fin­ish­ing line.

Af­ter that in­ci­dent, the Chi­nese Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion is­sued an an­nounce­ment that re­quires marathon or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tees to strictly im­ple­ment race rules and stressed that any cer­e­mony or ac­tiv­ity should not in­flu­ence or in­ter­fere with a race.

Marathon or­ga­niz­ers should be more pro­fes­sional in pro­mot­ing and man­ag­ing th­ese sport events to cul­ti­vate a healthy marathon cul­ture in China.

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