At the recent 2023 Dalian International Marathon that was recently held in Dalian Northeast China’s Liaoning Province, an atypical yet dangerous scene took place when a random pickup truck accidentally ran onto the competition’s racetrack.
While no one was physically hurt, the accident had major repercussions for veteran Chinese marathon athlete Yin Shunjin. The pickup truck drove uncontrollably onto the track and blocked Yin’s way just as the athlete was heading toward the finish line.
Yin managed to beat his best personal record despite the accident, finishing with a time of 2 hours and 11 minutes and 50 seconds. Although he did not manage to win the championship, his record was merely 30 seconds behind the competition’s gold medal winner.
Sports expert Xiao Bingxin in Shanghai told the Global Times that the accident might result in “a re-evaluation of Yin’s record and performance” because Yin had to go the “extra mile” to avoid the truck.
Following the incident, the current Dalian International Marathon’s organizing committee swiftly released a statement to the public. It was disclosed that an inquiry concluded that the driver of the car was at fault for the collision. In addition, the organizing committee expressed regret to the runners and promised to take steps to avoid such mishaps in the future.
After the announcement by the organizing committee, a Chinese Athletics Association (CAA) representative added that the CAA was aware of the incident and had scheduled meetings with the goal of “finding solutions for the accident.”
“The CAA’s official platform will be used to announce the incident’s final resolution. The public will also receive pertinent information from the competition’s organizing committee, the CAA member stated.
The Dalian International Marathon is one of the most established marathons in China, having held its inaugural competition in 1987. Athletes from 25 different nations and regions, including Russia, Belgium, and Australia, have registered for the 2023 session. With the oldest competitor being 78 years old and the youngest being only 6 years old, the competition welcomes runners of all ages.
Yin Shunjin, a rival from China, is 38 years old. He has won numerous marathon championships, including the one at the Jiayuguan Great Wall, which took place just two weeks prior to the Dalian competition.
Netizens have also criticized the marathon organizers’ “professionalism” in response to the incident.
Many netizens on China’s X-like Sina Weibo have said that they “felt sorry for Yin,” while others have expressed concern for the safety of the runners.
“The entire incident wasn’t just a coincidence; it illustrates how important professionalism and a positive outlook are to sporting events. A user wrote on Sina Weibo, “Athletes don’t get a second chance.”