Today (16) marks the start of the lunar New Year in China with 2018 being the Year of the Dog. Many of the values traditionally associated with the animal's year will be reflected in the IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships Taicang 2018 on 5-6 May.
According to Chinese astrology, in the Year of the Dog the world should, ‘embrace new opportunities, not be afraid to experiment or venture in uncharted territories, eat healthily and take up sport to avoid what can also be a year prone to injury’.
As a way of promoting a healthy lifestyle among the citizens of Taicang, organisers of the World Race Walking Team Championships will hold a two-kilometre mass walk as part of the opening ceremony on the eve of the championships.
A similar event was held when Taicang hosted the championships in 2014 and thousands of participants filled the streets of the Chinese city.
China has enjoyed a fitness boom in recent years, and running in particular has witnessed a 95% growth in running activity since 2014. An estimated 6% of the world’s population of 7.6 billion run regularly, but with the thriving market in China, that number is expected to rise to more than 10% in the next few years.
More than 400 elite athletes from about 50 nations are expected to take part at this year’s World Race Walking Team Championships. The men’s and women’s 50km races will be held on the first day of competition, followed by the U20 men’s 10km and senior women’s 20km later that afternoon. The second day of competition features the U20 women’s 10km and the senior men’s 20km.
China will be hosting it for the third time with Beijing having staged the event in 1995 and Taicang hosting it in 2014.
The IAAF would like to wish all of its website visitors from China a happy New Year. Gong xi fa cai.