China to strengthen safety measures in sports following fatal marathon race
Published: May 24, 2021 10:02 AM
Runners compete in the Quzhou Marathon on Sunday in Quzhou, East China's Zhejiang Province. A total of 12,000 people took part in the marathon in the morning rain. Photo: Cui Meng/GT

Runners compete in the Quzhou Marathon in November 2020 in Quzhou, East China's Zhejiang Province. A total of 12,000 people took part in the marathon in the morning rain. Photo: Cui Meng/GT


China's top sports governing body on Sunday asked the country's sports system to further enhance safety management in sports races and optimize safety risk management mechanisms and measures, following the tragic death of 21 participants in an ultramarathon race in Northwest China's Gansu Province due to extreme weather and lack of emergency preparation.

China's General Administration of Sport issued the instructions in an emergency meeting on Sunday evening to address the recent incidents in sports activities, particularly the one that occurred at the Gansu marathon, China Central Television reported on Monday.

The administration communicated with relevant personnel in Gansu at the earliest time, learned about the incident in detail and dispatched forces to Gansu to assist with local rescue and handling work, it was announced at the meeting.

Races are a focal point in sports work and carry the risk of all kinds of accidents, so there must not be mistakes in any related safety management. The previous management model, led by an administrative management system, is encountering difficulties in adapting to the supervision missions under the current situation, and has a share of problems and insufficiency, the administration said.

All organizations and units should take the responsibility in safety and make detailed protocols and contingency plans, including setting up a "circuit breaker" mechanism to make sure major sports races are well managed in terms of safety issues, the administration urged.

A total of 21 people were confirmed dead on Sunday due to extreme weather on Saturday during a 100 kilometer mountain race held in the Yellow River Stone Forest tourist site in Jingtai county, Baiyin, Gansu, leading the public to question the organizing of the event, including its lack of emergency preparation.

Su Jun, Secretary of Baiyin City Committee of the Communist Party of China, stressed at a Sunday meeting that the city must learn from the incident, reflect deeply and handle the aftermath well, including the treatment of the injured and related investigations, local newspaper the Baiyin Daily reported.

Global Times