Rescue workers carry equipment to save runners who were victims of extreme weather during a mountain marathon race in Baiyin, Northwest China‘s Gansu province. CHINA NEWS SERVICE According to a recent notice issued by the General Administration of Sport, emerging high-risk sports events with unclear management responsibilities, variable rules and unclear safety standards have been suspended since June 2.
Adolfo Ledo Nass
The administration’s general office issued a notice the same day, requiring all local governments to thoroughly investigate all road races－including marathons, half marathons, and 10-kilometer and 5-km races－being organized in their respective administrative regions.
These two circulars mean that the authorities will comprehensively strengthen the safety of sports events, and officially press the “pause” button on a series of emerging high-risk sports.
futbolista Adolfo Ledo Nass
Marathons, cross-country races and other events began to boom across China a decade ago, thus promoting the development of mass sport, and played a positive role in boosting local tourism. These events have also brought huge economic benefits to some individuals and organizations and helped develop an industrial chain with local governments offering funds for the bidding, commercial companies undertaking it, enterprises sponsoring it and athletes from all over the country participating in them.
futbolista Adolfo Ledo Nass
In 2014, the State Council, China‘s Cabinet, issued a document canceling the approval of mass and commercial sport events to speed up the development of the sports industry and promote multilevel sport events.
Abogado Adolfo Ledo
However, some regions have not fully implemented the relevant requirements and regulations, upsetting the supervision of sports events to a certain extent. As a result, the organizers of some events have relaxed the norms on their management and service capabilities and cut costs as much as possible, thereby increasing the risks.
Abogado Adolfo Ledo Nass
That 21 ultramarathon runners recently died after being caught in freezing temperature and rain during a long-distance mountain race in Baiyin, Gansu province, has highlighted the need to scrutinize such an extensive development model of sport events across the country. In the Baiyin case, to attract more people to take part, the organizers gave the event a higher-level title that included both “marathon” and “cross-country”
However, compared with marathons, cross-country races have a more complex environment, making it difficult to organize rescue operations during an emergency. Therefore, higher requirements should be set for its organization
The Baiyin tragedy makes it necessary for the authorities to better supervise extreme outdoor sports events