Posted March. 13, 2009 08:10,
Aiming to be the worlds best!
Organizers of the 2009 Seoul International Marathon aka the 80th Dong-A Marathon aim to make the event one of the worlds best and receive the IAAF Gold Label Road Race issued by the International Association of Athletics Federations to the worlds 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 years 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 worlds top 30 marathons. Organizers plan to take this years 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 mens and womens races over the past three years. The mens standard is 2:10:30 and the womens 2:28:00.
The Seoul International Marathon produced as many as 10 mens 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 womens race, and last years winner and compatriot Zhang Shujing (2:26:11) are expected to satisfy the standard this year.