Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tokyo Marathon Upgraded to IAAF Gold Label

translated by Brett Larner

Rikuren announced on Sept. 16 that the IAAF has awarded the February 28, 2010 Tokyo Marathon its prestigious Gold Label ranking, the highest rating the international organization offers to road races. Tokyo is now Japan's second Gold Label race, following March's Biwako Mainichi Marathon which received the accolade for the second year in a row.* Last year Tokyo received the secondary Silver Label.

In determining its annual rankings of the world's top road races, the IAAF takes into account the competitiveness of an event's elite fields, the distribution of its television broadcast, its organizational competence and other criteria during the previous year's edition. Overseas, major marathons such as New York, Boston, and Berlin all hold the Gold Label. The IAAF's current announcement covers races within the period from January to June, 2010. Within this window four Japanese races, the Osaka International Women's Marathon (January), Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon (February), Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon (February) and Nagoya International Women's Marathon (March) all received the Silver Label in addition to Tokyo and Biwako's Gold Labels.

*Translator's note: Biwako, also known as Lake Biwa, was awarded the Gold Label in 2009, despite not meeting the IAAF's gender parity or international broadcast criteria, after main sponsor Rohm withdrew its support of the venerable race.

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