HK marathon wins IAAF bronze rating
Next month's Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon has received a bronze label for the first time from the world-governing IAAF, a move organisers hope will attract a stronger field for the event.
'It's always our intention to bring top-quality runners to Hong Kong and the bronze label award is a recognition of our hard work over these years,' Hong Kong Amateur Athletic Association chairman Kwan Kee said. 'We are trying to meet the stringent requirements set by the world body and will continue to improve the quality of the race and hopefully we can get a gold label in future.'
The IAAF sets technical requirements for road races before an event can be awarded a label from bronze to gold, including organisation, timing and doping control.
For a race to earn a bronze label, it must also have secured an international elite field of at least five different nationalities with a best time under two hours and 16 minutes for the men and two hours and 39 minutes for the women.
'We have yet to finalise the entry list yet as there is still some time to go, but our preliminary list has shown more runners who are able to make the required timing,' Kwan (pictured) said.
'The top three men's runners from last year will come back ... while we have also extended invitations to China and North Korea runners. Our total prize money has been increased to US$220,000 from last year's US$150,000.'
Kwan also revealed Indian-born Briton Fauja Singh, the first 100-year-old to complete a marathon, would enter the 10km event.
'He wanted to take part in the marathon, but we advised him that the course is very tough and demanding and it would be better if he ran the shorter distance on a flat course,' Kwan said,