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Races canceled as students struggle to stay in shape

By LI YAO and MA LIE  (China Daily)

09:06, November 13, 2012

The cancellation of long-distance races at university games has highlighted the issue of declining physical fitness among college students.

Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, Hubei province, canceled the women's 3,000-meter race and men's 5,000-meter race in its university games held over the weekend.

Organizers from the university's physical education department said the races were scrapped because most students lack the stamina to finish the demanding course, and ill-prepared runners may injure themselves.

Qiao Xiaoshan, a PhD candidate specializing in physical education research from Xidian University in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, said his university has not held long-distance races since 2006.

Qiao said more than 30 universities in Xi'an no longer held long-distance races because of the decline in students physical fitness, leading to concerns the students may suffer injury or even death if they took part in intense physical activity.

From 2002 to 2010 in China, more than 40 participants in long-distance running events aged 16 and over died suddenly, according to Qiao's research.

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