Li Ling competes at the street pole vault competition outside the Bird's Nest Stadium
It was only ever going to be a matter of time before the street athletics craze reached the most populous country on earth.
Vertical jumps competitions were held at The Place, a shopping mall in Beijing, last summer, while a women’s pole vault contest was staged right outside the Bird’s Nest Stadium last month with Asian record-holder Li Ling taking victory in front of a home crowd.
The Chinese Athletics Association has now revealed plans for similar events throughout the rest of this year.
On 13 June Nanjing University of Technology will host a national 4x100m relay competition at which the world silver medal-winning team from last year is expected to compete.
One month later, on 16 July, a men’s long jump contest will be staged at South Gate Square in Xi’an, giving local fans the opportunity to witness athletes compete in what is currently China’s strongest athletics event.
And then on 1 October, the National Day holiday, a men’s pole vault competition will be held at the Riverside Avenue of the ‘South Bund’ in Shanghai.
With events now being staged nearly all year round, China has fully embraced the street athletics concept.
BSCAC for the IAAF