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Shanghai makes a play for fitness

By Tang Zhe  (China Daily)

11:16, June 11, 2012

Hurdler Liu Xiang and retired NBA star Yao Ming (right) enjoy the opening ceremony on Sunday of the "Shanghai Games", a series of activities for residents. The event aims to promote mass participation in sport. (China News Service /Tang Yanjun)

The curtains rose on Sunday on the first Shanghai Citizens Sports Meeting — an event intended to help everyone get fit.

The event, which runs through November, will be held every four years during the period of the Olympic Games.

There will be 50 sports offered and 2,399 games. Residents of Shanghai who want to take part can apply online and at application stations around the city.

More than 200,000 people had already registered before the official opening, and the organizing committee estimated the total number of participants will reach 1 million.

Several Shanghai-born sports stars — including Olympic champion Liu Xiang, retired Chinese basketball star Yao Ming and Sun Wen, former captain of the national women's soccer team — appeared at the opening ceremony at the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center.

The city orienteering challenge, the opening event of the five-month period, hit the road in the morning to warm up the metropolis.

A total of 1,320 participants in 330 teams were clocked to finish the 65-kilometer races and assigned to finish different tasks at six Shanghai landmarks during the race.

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