CHANGCHUN, China, May 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 30,000 players will take part in the Changchun International Marathon on the upcoming Sunday, witnessing the capital city of Jilin province "running" as a sports city in northeastern China.
The marathon has six events, including marathon, half marathon, 10 km race, 5 km race, family run and lover run. Runners from 20 countries and regions will compete during the competition, the first of its kind in Changchun City.
Chinese Athletics Association (CAA) had held 328 marathon competitions in 2016 all over China. But Changchun is special for CAA. "We developed winter sports as well as summer ones, and the city is always beautiful in four seasons," said Liu Haiyu, chief of Changchun Sports Bureau.
Changchun started to hold winter and summer sports camp events since 2013, offering teenagers and children free training on sports techniques. Students in the city's primary schools and middle schools have sports class every day. The project is a good example of how city government offers public services to arouse the public's enthusiasm for sports.
One year after Beijing was awarded the 2022 Winter Olympics, last year has seen rising popularity of winter sports in China. To promote winter sports in the country, Changchun announced its plan in January to motivate one million teenagers to enjoy the city's abundant skating rinks and ski resorts.
Changchun has never held a marathon in downtown before, but it has rich experiences about holding winter marathon. Vasaloppet, the annual long distance cross-country skiing race launched in Sweden in 1922, held its 15th edition in Changchun this year. More than 5,000 professional skiers from over 30 countries and regions took part in this year's Visma Skiing Classics at the event, up from 200 participants in 2003 when the ski marathon event was launched in China.
"Vasaloppet had seen Chinese winter sports rising popularity in China these years. We hope Changchun marathon can help promote field and track in China," said Yin Hao, vice manager of North company of Zhimei Sports Group, which runs the Changchun marathon.
Changchun's GDP rises 7.9 percent year on year in the first quarter, higher than the average growth of China. The city, which boasts its heavy industry in northeast China, is developing its sports industry in line with the country's plan for the revitalization of the northeast during the 13th Five-Year Plan period.
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SOURCE Changchun Sports Bureau