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Foreigners cry racism over race ban

Foreigners cry racism over race ban

MARATHON: The organiser of the Bangkok Midnight Marathon (BMM) 2020 was blasted online yesterday (Aug 7) after its “new normal race” policy was perceived to be barring foreigners from entering the race.

Marathon
By Bangkok Post

Saturday 8 August 2020, 10:37AM


Runners take part in the Bangkok Midnight Marathon on Aug 25, 2019. Photo: Bangkok Midnight Marathon Facebook account.

Runners take part in the Bangkok Midnight Marathon on Aug 25, 2019. Photo: Bangkok Midnight Marathon Facebook account.

BMM’s Facebook page and social media accounts were flooded yesterday with angry comments about the “new normal race.”

Now in its third year, the BBM - which Thai authorities created to jump-start sports tourism - introduced a “new normal race” policy for the event that will take place on Dec 13.

Runners and organisers are expected to comply with social distancing rules and adhere to fever checks, screenings and mask wearing.

But what has fuelled outrage is the online registration that only permits Thais to register, prompting accusations of racial discrimination.

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Gregor Rasp, a former running and sports endurance coach who has lived in Thailand for 20 years, said that the policy is misguided.

“If you follow the news then you know that 99% of recent COVID-19 cases are imported by Thai nationals. And just like foreigners, these Thais have to spend 14 days in quarantine. One is only released from quarantine if he/she tests negative after 14 days,” he said.

Boonperm Intanapasat, the BMM race director, yesterday issued a statement apologising for “failing to take into account that there were many expats here who would want to take part in the race”.

“Offending this community is the last thing we wanted to do. We love athletes of all nationalities.”

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