The Shanghai Half Marathon tops the list of the city’s most influential sporting events in 2021, according to a report by the Shanghai Sports Bureau and Shanghai Sports University.
The report assessed 46 domestic and international sports tournaments held in Shanghai last year. Professionalism, organizational work, public appeal, media coverage and contribution to society were the main judging criteria.
The three top-ranked competitions according to the study were: the Shanghai Half Marathon, the China Cross-Country Circuit in Shanghai, and the Leader of the Shanghai River Regatta.
Wang Rongjiang / SPARK
“We have to admit that the list doesn’t really represent Shanghai’s true ability to host sporting events,” said Huang Haiyan, a professor at the Shanghai Sports Bureau.
“After all, many international sports competitions could not take place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. ‘events allowed to be held is still limited,’ Huang said.
The Shanghai Sports Bureau last year introduced a rating system to evaluate and rank the city’s national and international sporting events. The new system defines three tiers – Premium, Hallmark and Developing Events.
Eighteen events have been approved under the system. Among them, the ATP 1000 Rolex Shanghai Masters, Shanghai Marathon, Chinese Formula 1 Grand Prix and HSBC Golf Champions have been classified as high-level Premium events.
However, the outbreak of the pandemic has hampered the organization of these events since 2020.
“It’s a shame that we missed a lot of international sports competitions last year,” said Luo Wenhua, vice director of the Shanghai Sports Bureau.
“We finally have the first Chinese F1 driver, but the Chinese GP had to miss the calendar. The equestrian Global Champions League and the Shanghai Masters tennis are also popular events that we were forced to miss under the influence of the pandemic.”
He added, “The top 10 list serves as recognition of sporting events that have managed to continue under special circumstances. Sport has played an important role in the lives of citizens. as possible”.
According to the evaluation report, the Shanghai Half Marathon tops the list thanks to its scale and professional organization.
Six thousand runners took part in the 21-kilometre race on April 18. The annual event was canceled in 2020. Attendance in 2021 was down from 15,000 in 2019, and overseas elite athletes were absent.
Dong Jun / SHINE
The second ranking of the Cross-Country Skiing China Tour Shanghai and the fourth ranking of the China Diving Championship both served as national team selection competitions for the Tokyo Olympics, increasing their appeal to the public.
The third-ranked Head of Shanghai River Regatta, held on Suzhou Creek, was a self-developed sporting event in Shanghai that gained popularity in its first year.
Top 10 Most Influential Sporting Events in Shanghai in 2021
1. Shanghai Half Marathon
2. Cross Country China Tour Shanghai
3. Leader of Shanghai River Regatta
4. China Diving Championship
5. Shanghai 10K Elite Race
6. Shanghai Women’s Half Marathon
7. Shanghai Cup Chess Masters
8. China Touring Car Championship
9. Shanghai Lingang Criterium Tour de France
10. Road to Revival Relay/MAGIC3 Shanghai 3×3 Basketball Youth Tournament