The Sydney Marathon has passed its first assessment to join the World Marathon Majors while the Sanlam Cape Town and Chengdu Marathons falter and will have to vie again next year.
The Sydney Marathon has passed stage one of being labelled a World Marathon Major (WMM) and will proceed to the second and final stage of the assessment.
The Abbott WMM announced that the marathon was assessed in September 2023 and was judged to have met the criteria set out by Abbott WMM in its second year of candidacy.
To make it to the WMM, Sydney will be required to meet the criteria for a second consecutive year when it stages its next marathon next year.
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If it is successful, the race will join the Majors in 2025, becoming the first race added to the series since the induction of the Tokyo Marathon in 2013.
“Our assessment team found that the 2023 Sydney Marathon has made significant improvements in a number of areas where we required it to raise standards following its 2022 event.
"The team was impressed with the efforts made to meet the criteria set out in the assessment process, and we now look forward to returning in 2024 for the next stage of their candidacy,” said Abbott WMM CEO, Dawna Stone.
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Meanwhile, the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon was also assessed in October 2023 – its second assessment year – and is yet to achieve a pass.
However, the race was found to have made significant strides towards the standards set out in the assessment criteria. The race will continue its journey in the first stage of the process when the Abbott WMM assessment team visits the race again in October 2024.
The Chengdu Marathon also underwent assessment in October 2023, which was the team’s second opportunity to assess the event, and will also continue its stage one assessment journey in 2024 to achieve its first pass.
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Abbott World Marathon Majors can also confirm that the current Six Star Finisher program will remain unaffected should new marathons join the series, and there will be a new additional awards program for runners achieving more than six stars.
“We have been listening to our community and fully appreciate the huge appeal of the Six Star Medal.
"We are also aware of the tens of thousands of runners on their Six Star journey whose strong desire is for this goal to stay in place.
"We have therefore decided that this original award for completing all six current Abbott World Marathon Majors will continue,” Stone said.