Runners planning to join the annual Taipei 101 Run yesterday accused the organizer of undermining Taiwan's status after finding that the nationality box on the registration form listed “Chinese Taipei” as an option instead of “Taiwan.”
Runners who wanted to sign up for the race said they were dissatisfied with the wording because the 101 run is a domestic competition, not an international one like the Olympic Games. They criticized the association for being confused about the nation's status by avoiding the use of the name “Taiwan.”
“Using ‘Chinese Taipei’ to climb our most famous tower in our own land is ridiculous,” one runner surnamed Weng (翁) said.
Even if foreigners participate in the 101 run, using the same standards as the Olympic Games is over-the-top, he said.
Association secretary-general Chen Hua-heng (陳華恆) said that the association has received similar complaints from runners and lawmakers over the years, but the association did not make any changes because the association is a member of the International Association of Ultra Runners, and Taiwan’s participation in international sporting events has always been under the name “Chinese Taipei.”
Chen insisted that the association has not undermined the country's status.
Chen said the association has been in existence for almost 20 years and has always participated in sports events according to Olympics standards, adding that changing the names now would result in confusion.
As to whether Taiwanese runners can register under the name “Taiwan,” Chen said the decision must be made by the board of directors.