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Bangkok Midnight Marathon sparks anger after banning foreigners

8 Aug 2020

The organizer of  (BMM), the Bangkok Midnight Marathon was slammed online on Friday after being perceived as prohibiting foreigners from entering the race by its "new normal race" policy.

BMM's Facebook page and social media accounts were swamped with angry remarks about the "new normal race" on Friday.

Which is in its third year, the Marathon — created by the Thai authorities to jump-start sports tourism — has introduced a "new normal race" policy for the activity to be held on Dec 13.

It is expected that runners and organizers comply with social distancing guidelines and follow fever inspections, screenings, and wearing masks.

But what has fuelled anger is online registration, which only allows Thais to sign up, prompting accusations of discrimination.

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

"When you track the news, then you realize that almost all of the latest Covid-19 infections brought by Thai citizens. Just like tourists, these Thais have to spend 14 days in quarantine. Someone is only released from quarantine when he/she checks negative after 14 days," he stated.

The BMM race director, Boonperm Intanapasat, released a statement on Friday apologizing for "failing to take into account that there were many ex-pats here who wanted to participate in the race."

"The last thing we wanted to do is to offend this community, and we love athletes of all nationalities."

Source: Bangkok Post