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Japanese welcome in marathon

By TANG ZHE  (China Daily)

08:45, November 12, 2012

The Beijing Marathon did not refuse Japanese runners' applications, Shen Chunde, the vice-president of the Chinese Athletic Association (CAA), said in response to reports in the Japanese media.

Reports in Japan said online applications didn't list Japan among the nationality options, and attributed the omission to the countries' political relationship.

Shen said in an interview posted on the front page of CAA's website that the race has welcomed runners from every part of the world since its inception in 1981, and said Japanese entrants have not been blocked from the Nov 25 event.

"The Beijing Marathon has been an international event since it was launched in 1981, and the number of participants has grown from 100 people to 200 to 30,000 over the course of its more than 30 years' history," he said. "We welcome all runners, professionals and amateurs, who love the sport, from every country and region of the world, to apply for the event."

Shen said individual applications weren't open to Japanese runners because most applied in groups last year.

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