NEW DELHI: Three prominent races in India have got the prestigious ‘Gold Label’ from the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF).

The races to have received this distinction are the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon, the Airtel Delhi Half-Marathon and the Sunfeast World 10K Bangalore.

Thus, India has become the first country in Asia to have three IAAF ‘Gold Label’ events. The United Kingdom boasts of four such races while the USA has three.

With this honour, the Mumbai race has joined 12 other elite marathons around the world.

While giving the ‘Gold Label’ to any race, the IAAF looks at parameters like the participation of a high number of world-class male and female athletes, strict course measurement and racing standards, National television coverage along with global TV distribution, high standards of organisation for participants and media and strict anti-doping procedures.

Praising race promoter Procam International, the IAAF’s Senior Manager for Road Running, Sean Wallace-Jones, said, “I am delighted that for 2010 India will feature three IAAF ‘Gold Label’ races. This is a wonderful achievement and will no doubt contribute to the development of road running and athletics.”

The Working President of the Athletics Federation of India (AFI), Adille Sumariwalla, said, “I hope that all the other marathons in India also aspire to acquire such a status. I believe road running will go a long way in creating sports culture, which has been missing in India.”

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