The Guangzhou Marathon has been awarded gold label status for 2018 by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) for its exceptional fulfillment of IAAF label criteria at its previous races.
The news was announced by the Guangzhou Marathon organizing committee on July 11.
A girl enjoys her run in the 2017 Guangzhou Marathon. [Photo/guangzhou-marathon.com]
For more than a decade, the IAAF has been awarding a designation referred to as an IAAF road race label to leading road races across the world. With three different levels – gold, silver and bronze, status is based on various factors, including the international elite field, anti-doping policies, IAAF competition rules, broadcasting, traffic services and timing.
The IAAF recognition of the Guangzhou Marathon for 2018 made the international event the eighth gold label race in China following recent designations for the Beijing Marathon and Shanghai Marathon.
The Guangzhou Marathon was launched by the Chinese Athletic Association (CAA) and the Guangzhou Municipal People's Government in 2012 and was certified by the CAA as an A level event. From 2014 to 2016, it was recognized as a CAA Gold Medal Race each year. The event was first awarded a Bronze label in 2016, and was upgraded to Silver label status one year later.
The Guangzhou Marathon is run along the Pearl River. It showcases the most unique Lingnan culture, the most time-honored scenic spots and the most stylish cultural trends. Every year, marathon participants and fans show their great enthusiasm for the event.
Having received the gold label, the Guangzhou Marathon will continue to uphold high standards, focusing on the quality of the event, the creation of a more distinctive brand, and promotion of the harmonious development of the event and the city, according to a member of the event's organizing committee.
"Guangzhou Marathon will also pay more attention to the services for runners, and strive to create a wide-ranging international event featuring fine organization, excellent experience and distinctive local culture."
The 2018 Guangzhou Marathon will kick off on Dec 9. Since it opened for public registration on June 30, over 85,000 runners have signed up for the event with the first day's registration number hitting a whopping 50,000. Online registration will be open until July 30.
All the runners for this year's marathon events will be decided by drawing lots and the name list for qualified runners will be unveiled in August.