Mon, Nov 05, 2001 - Page 16 News List

Sports events help raise Taipei's profile

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Several sporting events are helping Taipei City Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) realize his ambition of making Taipei an international city.

The Taipei International Marathon was held yesterday, the 2001 Baseball World Cup will start tomorrow, and the 13th Women's Soccer Asia Cup is scheduled to start next month.

"I hope the events will motivate more city residents to enjoy sports and develop the habit of playing them regularly," Ma told the 7,000 runners who gathered in front of Taipei City Hall ahead of the marathon yesterday.

Ma ran in the 19.6km half-marathon yesterday, finishing in 597th place in a time of one hour, 56 minutes and 28 seconds.

The first Taipei International Marathon was held in 1986. It has been held every year since then except in 1999, when it was cancelled because of the Sept. 21 earthquake.

But Taipei has been facing competition from Kaohsiung over who should host the ceremonies of the baseball world cup.

Kaohsiung Mayor Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) had tried to reschedule the tournament's closing and awards ceremonies for Kaohsiung County's Chengching Lake Baseball Stadium.

However, the dispute was resolved when the International Baseball Federation rejected Hsieh's proposal.

Sixteen teams will compete in the event: Eight teams will play in Kaohsiung and Chiayi from tomorrow until Nov. 14, another eight will play in Tienmu and Hsinchuang between Nov. 7 and Nov. 15.

The semifinals are scheduled for Nov. 16 and Nov. 17 in Tienmu and Hsinchuang.

The final is scheduled to take place at the Tienmu Stadium on Nov. 18.

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