Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Runners will wear timing microchips for their accurate results at the 59th National Marathon Tournament by Tiền Phong (Vanguard) newspaper which will be organised this Sunday in Đắk Lắk Province.
It is the first time that this technology has been applied in the tournament as the organisers want to ensure the results, avoid cheating and reduce the number of referees at work.
“The chips will be attached on athletes’ bibs. These will help us to supervise the runners throughout the races. Right after they touch the finish line we will know if they have run the right route or not. Their results will also be available at the time. And we don’t require too many referees like we did previously,” said Lê Xuân Sơn, head of the organising board cum editor-in-chief of Tiền Phong newspaper.
Nearly 500 athletes have registered to take part in the annual marathon. Among them, 230 are competing in the professional category while the rest are participating in the amateur disciplines.
Việt Nam’s leading marathoners such as Bùi Thế Anh and Vũ Văn Sơn on the men’s side and Nguyễn Thị Ý Tuyên and Nguyễn Thị Lệ have confirmed their presence.
They will run in 14 different distances ranging from 2.5km to 42.195km. The Tiền Phong Marathon is the event with largest number of categories in the national running tournament system.
Apart from the official events, there are also running tracks for 2,000 local students, soldiers, workers and residents.
Another new angle in the tournament is that athletes could send their registration online to avoid their missing profile problem that used to happen in the past.
This year, athletes will also be provided nutrition gel, fruit juice and ionized water during their marathon. As Sơn said, in this year’s event, athletes were considered the core of the event and organisers would provide them best conditions for best result.
Organisers will present awards to both individual champions and winning teams with a total cash of VNĐ230 million (US$100,000).
“The number of participants has increased remarkably compared to the past, especially the amateur runners in the marathon event, to about five times more than last year,” Sơn said at the press briefing yesterday in Hà Nội.
“The number of amateur runners is increasing rapidly. In one of the Facebook pages, we have more than 12,000 members and about 2,000 of us compete regularly. We always want to take part in a big event such as the Tiền Phong Marathon. We also hope to have chance to join a tournament that gathers 10,000 to 20,000 runners like people do abroad. We believe that if the registration is simpler, the number of us would be much bigger than (130),” runner Phạm Hà Lâm said.
The marathon will be aired live on VTV6 channel from 6.30pm. — VNS