First Jilin Songhua River Skating Marathon kicks off in NE China

(Xinhua) 10:42, January 31, 2024

CHANGCHUN, China, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) -- The first Jilin Songhua River Skating Marathon kicked off on Tuesday in Jingyu County, northeast China's Jilin Province, attracting over 7,000 contestants from China, Nigeria, South Africa, and other countries and regions.

This competition features five events: the skating marathon, the ice and snow running marathon, the snow bike marathon, the ice dragon boat racing, and cross-country skiing.

During the skating marathon, the participants skated on the 12-meter-wide track, chasing each other and challenging themselves. Thousands of pairs of skates scratched the ice surface in the blink of eyes.

Debuting in the Netherlands in 1909, the skating marathon has high requirements for the climate conditions. The century-old event has only been held 15 times.

"We have learned from the ice marathon festival held in the Netherlands and conducted a comprehensive risk analysis of this event. The ice here is over 40 centimeters thick, which meets the event's requirements," said Liu Qi, deputy director of the Jilin Provincial Administration of Sport.

On the other side of the venue, the fast-moving dragon boats brought excitement to all the contestants in the winter. The competitors flexed their muscles on the frozen surface, igniting the atmosphere with incredible vitality.

The tracks are thoughtfully designed by the organizers to celebrate the upcoming Year of the Dragon. Looking down from the top, the marathon tracks look like a hovering dragon.

"It is my very first time to participate in an ice dragon boat race. I am very excited to experience ice and snow activities here," said a contestant from Benin.

In addition to the skating marathon, 10 ice and snow sports events and 10 experiential activities are held to create an ice and snow carnival on the Songhua River, which promotes the integration of sports, culture, tourism, food, entertainment, and business.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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