BEIJING, June 15 (Xinhua) -- Peking University freshman Liu Qinghong has been selected to represent China in the women's marathon event at this year's world athletics championships in London, the Chinese Athletic Association (CAA) said.
Liu clocked 2 hours 43 minutes at the Shanghai International Marathon in October, last year, meeting the qualification bar for the London world championships, said the CAA.
Liu's selection is a result of the "Wanna Run in Olympics" program, which aims to scout athletic talent at the grassroots level.
The program, launched by the CAA early this month, will last through May 2020, and will select two amateur marathon runners, one male and one female, to compete in top events like the Olympic Games, the world championships and the Asian Games.
These runners must be non-professional runners who have not registered at the CAA, and be over 20 years old by December 31st for the year of the competition, according to the CAA.
To qualify for the 2020 Olympics, the athletes should reach the Olympic marathon qualifying standard or get into the top ten in the IAAF gold label road race events during the Olympic qualification period. The CAA will decide the final list based on the ranking of their results.
Amateur runners can take part in any of the IAAF gold label road race events in Beijing, Shanghai, Xiamen and Dongying Huanghekou, or six other designated events like the national marathon championships to vie for qualification, said the CAA.
"The Chinese Athletic Association holds this series of activities to build a stage for amateur athletes to participate in the Olympic Games and make their Olympic dreams come true. This is an important reform on our Olympic selection regime, and at the same time is an important measure for the implementation of the national fitness strategy. What's more, it's also very meaningful for promoting the integration of the development between elite sports and mass sports," said CAA vice-president and secretary-general Du Zhaocai.