By Liu Shuoyang, People's Daily
How does it feel to run on synthetic tracks paved on a beach wearing spikes and embracing the sea breeze?
A track & field competition recently held on a beach in Pingtan, southeast China's Fujian province, would give you a perfect answer.
On Aug. 14, the competition kicked off in an ocean park on the Longwangtou beach in Pingtan. The track & field competition was the first one held on a beach in China as a part of the Public Athletic Fitness Qualification Competition organized by the Chinese Athletic Association. It attracted a number of sports fans and professional athletes, whose ages ranged from 18 to 64.
Xie Tianshou, the oldest participant in the event, took the crown in standing long jump.
"I've been doing fitness practice for years. I hope there will be more students joining in the public track & field event," said the 64-year-old man from Xiamen, Fujian province.
Today, the public's demand for fitness practice is getting more and more diversified. Therefore, there's a higher requirement for holding public fitness events.
Moving track & field games from stadiums to the beach, where athletes can enjoy a beautiful sea view after breaking sweat, is unquestionably a new experience. The track & field games held in Pingtan marked an effort made to diversify the forms of sports events.
Whether a sports event is attractive is determined by whether it is special enough. Holding featured events that exploit different natural resources is one of the goals of China in organizing public track & field games.
The Pingtan beach track & field competition was elaborately designed based on local characteristics. For instance, the tracks of the 1,000-meter run included synthetic tracks, sand pits and sand tracks, which not only enriched the experiences of athletes, but also made the running more interesting.
The Public Athletic Fitness Qualification Competition started on Aug. 8. The one-month competition includes 29 events held in different places. Apart from the Pingtan beach games, the rest of the events will also be held in communities, parks and stadiums.
Fun and professionalism must be well balanced when it comes to holding public sports competitions. During the Pingtan beach games, the standardized synthetic tracks, electronic timing devices, starting blocks and other professional equipment brought a great experience to the participants, while standing long jump, relay races and other fun fames lowered the threshold of the event, so that more people would be willing to join it.
Track & field sports enjoy huge potential in developing public fitness. The beach games in Pingtan marked an active exploration. In the future, more innovations and highlights will be presented by public track & field events.