Local runner Chiang Chieh-wen wins New Taipei marathon

11/21/2021 09:06 PM
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Taiwanese marathon runner Chiang Chieh-wen
Taiwanese marathon runner Chiang Chieh-wen

Taipei, Nov. 21 (CNA) Local runner Chiang Chieh-wen (蔣介文) won the 2021 New Taipei City Wan Jin Shi Marathon on Sunday, finishing first overall in the full marathon, which also saw him become the domestic men's champion in the race.

Chiang finished the 42.195-kilometer marathon in two hours, 26 minutes, and 29 seconds, finishing first in a field of about 8,000 competitors.

As there were no international participants this year, due to complications with COVID-19 restriction protocols, Chiang was crowned as the champion in both the men's overall and domestic championship categories.

The title of domestic champion is conferred on a local runner who reaches the finishing line first among all local participants in the marathon.

The New Taipei City government had invited 12 international athletes from countries like Ethiopia, Belarus, and Kenya with special permission granted by the Central Epidemic Command Center. However, 11 of the runners were quarantined on Saturday because they had trained with the 12th member of the group, who was sent to a hospital to get treated for COVID-19 after she tested positive the same day.

Initially, after their arrival on late October, all 12 athletes had received two COVID-19 tests during their 14-day quarantine, all of which came back negative. After being given a third test on the day before the marathon, one of the Kenyan athletes tested positive.

As the overall male marathon champion, Chiang was awarded US$30,000, and as the domestic men's champion, he will receive another NT$150,000 (US$5,396), according to the organizers.

Female runner Tsai Yun-hsuan (蔡昀軒) also achieved a double win, taking home the same amount of winnings as Chiang, and the titles of overall female champion and domestic women's champion.

Tsai completed the full marathon in in two hours, 58 minutes, and 57 seconds to win the championship.

This was the first Wan Jin Shi marathon to be held since 2019. The 2020 edition was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, while the pandemic this year resulted in the 2021 race being postponed from March to Nov. 21.

The event this year included the full 42.195-kilometer marathon, as well as a 10K run.

The race route stretches along the coast of Wanli, Jinshan, and Shimen districts in New Taipei.

(By Huang Chiao-wen and James Lo)

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