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Top Global Designation Eyed for Seoul Int`l Marathon

Posted March. 13, 2009 08:10,   


“Aiming to be the world’s best!”

Organizers of the 2009 Seoul International Marathon aka the 80th Dong-A Marathon aim to make the event one of the world’s best and receive the “IAAF Gold Label Road Race” issued by the International Association of Athletics Federations to the world’s top races.

○ Silver Label for two consecutive years

The association began certifying international marathons last year. The labels are given to races that meet major criteria over a three-year period, media and international TV coverage, and doping standards.

The labels are categorized into Gold, Silver and IAAF Road Race Label. Last year, 12 marathons received the Gold Label.

Based on last year’s records, 11 marathons are eligible for Gold Label designation.

They include five major marathons in Boston, New York, London, Berlin, Chicago and similar events in Frankfurt (Germany), Paris, Beijing, Xiamen (China) and Lake Biwa (Japan).

The Seoul International Marathon, the biggest in Korea, has won the Silver Label for two consecutive years. The JoongAng Seoul Marathon earned the same over the same period.

○ Likely qualification this year

With 11 Gold and 23 Silver Labels, the Seoul marathon has emerged as one of the world’s top 30 marathons. Organizers plan to take this year’s event as an opportunity to apply for a Gold Label in the second half of the year.

That goal is highly reachable. To get the Gold Label, a marathon must have five records that meet standards in both men’s and women’s races over the past three years. The men’s standard is 2:10:30 and the women’s 2:28:00.

The Seoul International Marathon produced as many as 10 men’s records that satisfy the standard, but the women had only four.

This year, however, Wei Yana of China (2:23:12), the winner of the 2007 women’s race, and last year’s winner and compatriot Zhang Shujing (2:26:11) are expected to satisfy the standard this year.