Wang Nan, Vice President of the Chinese Athletics Association, speaks at the third China Marathon Expo on January 3 (COURTESY PHOTO)
The recent years have seen a boom in marathons in China. In 2011, there were only 22 running events nationwide, but the number surged to 1,102 in 2017, according to Wang Nan, Vice President of the Chinese Athletics Association (CAA).
At the third China Marathon Expo, held three days before the Xiamen Marathon, Wang said 2018 was "the tipping point of China's marathon development, which is switching from high-speed boom to a trajectory of viable and quality development." However, the rapid popularity is also bringing problems in its wake, such as unprofessional management, which has triggered a debate on marathons in China, she said.
However, Wang said the debate is neither unexpected, nor a bad thing. "It means that marathons are getting more and more public attention in China," she said. "Being in the spotlight helps us to improve the management of the marathons."
In the past two years, the CAA issued several guidelines to improve marathon operations. In 2018, it offered five training workshops for marathon organizers.
(Reporting from Xiamen)
Copyedited by Sudeshna Sarkar
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