3,000 women race in cherry blossoms
Over 3,000 women took part in a 10 kilometer jogging event today in Shanghai's new "sports town".
The runners in pink T-shirts began jogging through the city's largest cherry blossom forest totaling over 12,000 trees in Gucun Park in Baoshan District at 8:30am.
Former athletes including Cao Yanhua, former table tennis world champion and Zhu Yunying, former national volleyball team player led the runners.
Six "elite female" groups, being composed of female doctors, professors, entrepreneurs and government officials ran ahead of other runners to encourage more women to take part in sports activities, the sports authority of Baoshan District said.
"Though I may not be able to finish the whole race, I want to showcase my positive attitude to life," said Zhou Yiyun, an accountant with a Baoshan-based company.
The annual running event which was launched last year is part of the government's efforts to develop Baoshan, a former industrial base, into the city's "sports town."
"More such public sports events will be held regularly to attract more residents to participate," said Chen Taifeng, director of the Baoshan District Sports Center.
Currently, the district hosts some 1,200 sports events and competitions every year, with more than 900,000 Baoshan residents - or nearly half of its population - taking part, according to the district's sports bureau.
The race is held ahead of the city's annual cherry blossom festival which will begin on Friday this year. The festival has become one of the most popular events for locals as well as visitors from neighboring provinces since it was launched in 2011.