The Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon has been cancelled with organisers saying that the government had failed to give approval in time amid the Covid-19 outbreak.

Hong Kong Marathon 2021. Photo: GovHK.

“The decision is made based on the fact that with only two months remaining before the event day, there is insufficient time for runners and relevant stakeholders to adequately prepare for the race,” a notice from organisers on Facebook read on Friday.

The event, which took place last year with a limited headcount, was originally scheduled for November 20.

Whilst much of the world has relaxed Covid-19 anti-epidemic rules, Hong Kong continues to enact a four person limit in public, compulsory face masks outdoors, and enforces tracking apps for entering certain buildings.

The Hong Kong Association of Athletics Affiliates warned that the event would be axed unless the government gave an official response this week.

Hong Kong logged 8,999 new Covid-19 infections on Friday, of which 131 cases were imported. The city also added 16 new deaths. In all, the city has seen 1.68 million cases and 9,836 deaths.

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Tom is the editor-in-chief and founder of Hong Kong Free Press. He has a BA in Communications and New Media from Leeds University and an MA in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong. He has contributed to the BBC, Euronews, Al-Jazeera and others.