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Marathon targeting 20,000 entries

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 1 Mar 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: The One Belt One Road Marathon Major Series Malaysia at Dataran Merdeka on Oct 1, is targeting 20,000 participants.

Tourism and Culture Ministry deputy secretary-general Datuk Rashidi Hasbullah said the event will be co-organised by the ministry and Chinese Athletic Association.

This was in response to China’s initiative to connect the country with most of Europe and Asia through sports tourism, he told reporters here yesterday.

He said the ministry will consider the economic impact of the marathon, which is estimated to generate RM40mil through participation fees, accommodation, transportation, F&B and vacation packages.

Rashidi said the event was also a continuation of the 29th SEA Games to be hosted here from Aug 19 to 31, and the 9th Asean-Para Games scheduled from Sept 17 to 23.

Marathon Wisdom Sports Group (China) chief executive officer Zhang Han said the marathon was expected to attract more Chinese tourists to Malaysia.

Malaysia is the first location outside China for the international marathon series.

The initiative is the result of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s visit to China last year.

The “Belt and Road” initiative, first announced in 2013 by China’s President Xi Jinping, plans to revive the ancient trade route between Asia and Europe.

While “belt” refers to the old Silk Road linking China and Europe through Central Asia and the Middle East, “road” refers to the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road to Africa, South-East Asia and the Pacific.

The economic development and cooperation initiative sees some 65 countries and regions along the route.

The road covers 41.3% of the world’s total area and 60% of its population.

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