|Astana news conference: SCO Day at EXPO-2017 to open with International Marathon|
On 26 August 2017, the Central Communications Service of the Republic of Kazakhstan's Ministry of Information and Communications held a news conference in Astana dedicated to the SCO and CICA Astana International Marathon.
"On 27 August 2017, the SCO and CICA International Marathon will take place as part of Astana EXPO-2017. It can be said in all confidence that the Marathon has caused much interest among athletes and the public at large not only in both organisations' areas but also far beyond these," SCO Secretary-General Rashid Alimov said in his remarks. "Two and a half months ago, Astana hosted a SCO Summit chaired by esteemed President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan, which approved historic decisions. And so, a moment is approaching, when the "energy of the Shanghai spirit," like a relay baton, will be passed to the Marathon charged with the energy of the future," he stressed.
The SCO Secretary-General thanked the media for spreading the word about the historic SCO Astana Summit that took place between 8-9 June 2017 and expressed hope that there would be wide coverage of SCO Day and the SCO and CICA Astana International Marathon to be held as part of the International Specialised Astana EXPO-2017 exhibition on 27 August 2017.
Speakers at the news conference focused on the Marathon's organization, route and participants. Nearly 5,000 athletes and amateur runners representing 20 countries and 4 international organisations are expected to take part in the race.
Attended by SCO Secretary-General Rashid Alimov, Minister of Culture and Sports of Kazakhstan Arystanbek Mukhamediuly, CICA Executive Director Gong Jianwei, and Vice-President of the Kazakhstan Track and Field Federation Eldar Tabanov, the news conference was broadcast live by Kazakhstan's television and radio networks.
On 27 August 2017, Astana, the capital of the Republic of Kazakhstan, will host the SCO and CICA Astana International Marathon. This large-scale sports event will be one of the main cultural and entertainment undertakings of the SCO Day celebrations at the International Specialised Astana EXPO-2017 exhibition.