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Seoul Int’l Marathon Upgraded to ‘Gold Label Race’

Posted September. 16, 2009 04:58,   


The Seoul International Marathon, also known as The Dong-A Marathon, has been promoted to a “Gold Label Road Race,” the highest honor bestowed by the International Association of Athletic Federations.

The Road Race division of the association’s competition committee informed the Seoul Marathon secretariat, “We comprehensively evaluated the Seoul International Marathon and promoted the event to a ‘Gold Label Road Race.’”

The Seoul Marathon will be held under its new designation from next year, and will use diverse marketing utilizing the “gold competition” logo of the IAAF. The marathon will be the first in Korea to be held as a Gold Label and third in Asia after Japan (Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon) and China (Xiamen Marathon).

Since last year, the IAAF has classified international marathons in three categories: gold, silver and IAAF Road Races according to the level of the event. The association evaluates marathons by comprehensively assessing 14 segments, including media reports, broadcasting scale, doping tests, the number of participants, and the scale of sponsorship.

The Seoul Marathon was held as a Silver Label race this year after being certified as such last year for the first time in Korea. The marathon met all other requirements for the Gold Label, but failed to meet the requirement of having more than five runners who run under 2 hours 28 minutes in women’s competitions over the past three years. But this requirement was met in March.

Only 12 events last year and 11 this year were recognized as meeting the Gold Label standard among the numerous marathons held yearly.

This year, the world’s top five marathons -- Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York – those in Xiamen, Lake Biwa, Paris, Hamburg, Beijing and New York were convened as Gold Label events. An assessment is determining Gold Label events for next year, and the grades of different events will be determined and announced after the end of this season.

Oh In-hwan, coach of the Samsung Electronics athletics team, said, “The rise of the Seoul International Marathon to a Gold Label Road Race means it rivals the world’s top five marathons. It also means the Seoul Marathon has improved in quality. This is great news for the Korean marathon community.”