Istanbul 2020 Bid Boosted by Eurasia Marathon

By Community | November 12, 2012

Istanbul 2020’s bid for the olympics received a boost after the Bid Committee staged a number of publicity events for the 100, buy viagra | 000-plus participants of the intercontinental Istanbul Eurasia Marathon. 

Ahead of the start of the full marathon, Istanbul Governor, Hüseyin Avni Mutlu and the Mayor of Istanbul, Kadir Topba?, led hundreds of young people wearing Istanbul 2020 t-shirts and 100,000 other participants in a Fun Run from Asia to Europe, across the city’s iconic Bosphorus Bridge. Flying high above the Bosphorus was the Istanbul 2020 banner, on one of the rare occasions that anything other than the Turkish national flag had been placed on the Bosphorus Bridge.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) awarded the Istanbul Eurasia Marathon gold label status last year, making it Turkey’s latest sports event to combine elite sport standards with a unique Istanbul flavour: it is the only marathon on the planet to start on one continent and finish on another. This year’s event attracted over 13,000 athletes for the full marathon, an increase of 20% on the previous year.

Istanbul 2020 bid leader, Hasan Arat, commented on the high levels of public support bolstering the bid across Turkey: “This event has been celebrating the very best of Istanbul since 1979 and the Turkish people are extremely passionate about it – as you can see from the incredible turnout today. Sports events in Turkey are always well supported, and that is one of the reasons domestic polls have shown that 87% of people in Istanbul and 83% nationally want to host the Games here. Istanbul 2020 is about to kick off a series of domestic programmes to keep building awareness and enthusiasm for our Olympic bid in Turkey, so I believe those figures will only increase.

“The sports world has seen a marathon bridge two continents today – Istanbul 2020 wants to do that with an entire Olympic and Paralympic Games. Imagine: athletes could sleep in Europe and compete in Asia. That offers the Olympic Movement a brand new, very exciting opportunity.”

General Manager of Spor A.?., Alpaslan Baki Ertekin, on behalf of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality said: “We finally made the Istanbul Eurasia Marathon a gold marathon after three years of planning. It is now one of the top 20 marathons in the world. Our next step is for the marathon to become the world’s seventh marathon major by attracting new runners from across the globe.”

The Istanbul Eurasia Marathon participants passed a number of Istanbul’s famous architectural landmarks, including the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. The 100,000 participants included a record number of international competitors, after runners registered for the cancelled New York Marathon were invited to enter the Istanbul event for free. In total, 27% of the entrants were from overseas.