Asian Games Fun Run opens with 'sangu' ceremony in Maldives
Male, Maldives, February 4, 2023: The Maldives leg of the Hangzhou Asian Games Fun Run was held at Hulhumalé on Saturday, February 4 and attracted 700 participants from 22 schools, eight national sports associations and local Chinese businesses.
The runners gathered at the Hulhumalé Synthetic Athletics Track at 5:45 in the morning for the 6am start and created an atmosphere of fun and friendship under the Maldives sun.
Among the attendees were Mohamed Abdul Sattar, President of the Maldives Olympic Committee, Wang Lixin, China's Ambassador to the Maldives, Zhou Jian, Director of the Olympic Council of Asia's Media and Broadcasting, Ahmed Latheef, Maldives' Foreign Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Song Jianbo, head of the Organizing Committee's Hangzhou Foreign Affairs Department.
The Maldives Olympic Committee President said the Maldives fun run was the first stop on the South Asia swing and he conveyed his best wishes to all the Maldives athletes preparing to take part in the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China from September 23 to October 8.
The Maldives Olympic Committee was thanked by Ambassador Wang Lixin for organising the fun run to raise awareness of the Hangzhou Asian Games. She said sport formed a bridge of communication between people from different countries and regions and was a catalyst for friendship, cooperation and peace between China and Maldives.
The opening ceremony was performed to the sound of Sangu – the local term for the conch shell used by island chiefs to summon the people for a special occasion.
The 3km fun run began in the stadium and proceeded to the city centre of Hulhumalé. It approached the finish line after circling the city's central park under a clear blue sky and by the sea. The event was concluded at 7:45am. A Hangzhou Asian Games commemorative medal was awarded to each participant.
The South Asia swing now moves to Sri Lanka for the Hangzhou Asian Games Fun Run at Port City, Colombo on Tuesday, February 7.