Move! Sports competitions scheduled for 2023
A total of 38 international sports competitions will be held in Shanghai through the rest of the year, including Shanghai's self-developed events like the Head of Shanghai River Regatta and the Shanghai Cup Chess Masters.
Shanghai Half Marathon, scheduled on April 16, will become the city's first international sports competition in the second quarter of the year. Elite runners from overseas will return to Shanghai after three years of absence.
The Archery World Cup has been scheduled in May, and the upgraded ATP tournament Rolex Shanghai Masters will be held in October. The organization of the snooker Shanghai Masters and Tour of Chongming Island cycling race are also underway.
Apart from the 38 international events, 83 national sports competitions have been scheduled in 2023, said Luo Wenhua, vice director of the Shanghai Sports Bureau.
"While welcoming the return of international competitions, we also hope that Shanghai's self-developed events can stand out and gradually grow into high-level popular events," said Luo.
Under the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic, only 24 national and international sports competitions were held in Shanghai in 2022. Shanghai's self-developed sports competitions have taken over the spotlight.
According to a sports events impact report issued by the Shanghai Sports Bureau and Shanghai University of Sport on Friday, Shanghai Marathon, Head of Shanghai River Regatta, and Shanghai Cup Chess Masters were the most influential sports events organized in 2022. All of them are Shanghai's self-developed competitions.
Professionalism, organizational work, public appeal, media coverage, and contribution to society were major criteria for assessment.
The Shanghai Marathon is an IAAF Platinum Label road race, attracting 18,000 participants last year. A survey taken on 20 percent of its participants showed that 97 percent of them were satisfied with last year's event. Over 77 percent runners agreed that the event can help present Shanghai's landscape and sports culture to the world.
Last year's Head of the Shanghai River Regatta received positive feedback from both participants and spectators who enjoyed the races from the river banks of the Suzhou Creek.
"We plan to build this landscape event into a Shanghai citizen sports festival in the future," said Luo. "With the resumption of international communication, more high-level foreign teams and rowers will be invited to the race and help upgrade the quality and fun of the regatta."
The Shanghai Cup Chess Masters was in its second edition last year, attracting 1,128 players from home and abroad, which was a huge increase from the 134 participants in its first year.
Luo said an overseas division of the Chess Masters will be set in Germany this year to expand the international influence of the event.
Other Shanghai self-developed sports competitions include the ISU Shanghai Trophy, and the new youth soccer tournament Future Star Cup that was launched last year.