Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon
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Runners pass near the large portrait of Chinese leader Mao Zedong on Tiananmen Gate near Tiananmen Square at the start of the Beijing Marathon on September 16, 2018. Photo: AP

Beijing marathon organisers get go ahead for November race, say 30,000 could take part

  • Event returns to Chinese capital for first time in two years as sport makes slow return on mainland
  • Thousands should be able to race but only residents will be able to register

While the organisers of the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon were forced to postpone their event this November over Covid fears, some 30,000 runners will take to the streets of Beijing next month for the first time in two years.

Officials said on Wednesday that thousands would be allowed to take part in the 26-mile race through the Chinese capital, although only residents would be able to register.

China, which is the last major economy wedded to a zero-Covid policy, has cancelled almost all international sports competitions since Covid emerged there in 2019, with the Beijing Winter Olympics in February this year a rare exception.

That though is slowly changing, and the World Team Table Tennis Championships, in which Hong Kong’s men and women are both playing, kicked off last Friday in Chengdu.

But like the Olympics, those involved must stay in a “closed loop”.

That could change in December, when China hosts the season-ending World Tour Finals for badminton.