On November 26, the 16th Asian Marathon Championships & Dongguan International Marathon 2017 kicked off in Dongguan, China. The running feast drew 40 professional athletes and over 30,000 runners from 18 countries and regions. GOPI THONAKAL from India and KIM HYE GYONG from DPRK won the men's and women's marathons of the Championships respectively. By hosting the Championships, Dongguan has been given an opportunity to catch the world's attention as a dynamic and charming city.
At around 7:30 a.m. on Nov. 26, the competition began upon a starting shot by distinguished guests including Dr. Talib F Al-Sa, vice-president of Asian Athletes Association (AAA), Maurice R. Nicholas, secretary-general of AAA and Lv Yesheng, secretary of Dongguan Municipal Party Committee. It is known that the competition consists of four events, namely the full marathon (42.195 km), half-marathon (21.0975 km), mini-marathon (5.2 km) and Carnival Joy Run (2.6 km).
It is understood that the Asian Marathon Championships represent the highest-level international competition in marathon road running in Asia. Dongguan is the third Chinese city to host the completion after Beijing and Hong Kong. It fully justified its fame as advocator of sport-for-all, on top of being a globally noted city of intelligent manufacturing and historic culture. Along the path of urban development, Dongguan has long applied the vision of green development. Its accomplishments in improving city environment and enhancing soft power has delivered tangible benefits to local people. Those are the reasons behind it being the host city of many other major international sporting events.
In 2019, the Asian Marathons Championships will again be held in Dongguan, which will invite devoted runners from across the world. And the city will host FIBA Basketball World Cup as a co-host city in that same year. Adopting the idea of "Major Events Invigorate a City", Dongguan has since 2015 hosted BWF Sudirman Cup, 2016 Songshan Lake International Marathon and now the 16th Asian Marathon Championships & Dongguan International Marathon. These great events made and will continue to make Dongguan a more vibrant and glamorous city with a proud sporting mass base.
Source: The Organizing Committee of the 16th Asian Marathon Championships