World Friendship Games

SPIEF'24 Participants Took Part in the Friendship Games Race

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SPIEF'24 Participants Took Part in the Friendship Games Race

The first day of the main programme of the 27th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum which as always takes place in the northern Russian capital at the very beginning of summer, was opened by the traditional morning race. More than 1,700 people, both Forum participants and residents of St. Petersburg, took part in the 5-kilometre track and field race.

The theme of this year's race was the World Friendship Games, a major international sports event eagerly awaited by fans around the world. The improvised stadium for the runners was the picturesque scenery of St Isaac's Cathedral, one of the main sights of St Petersburg. This was where the start and finish lines were located.

The St. Petersburg race was the first in a series of World Friendship Games races. In the run-up to the tournament, the World Friendship Games Organising Committee plans to hold similar events in many cities across Russia and around the world to unite sports fans and promote the new multi-sport tournament in all corners of the world.

A new tradition was also established – each participant in the World Friendship Games race could send greetings to future competitors. To do this, they had to "high-five" the World Friendship Games mascot, the Tiger. Each greeting immediately reflected as a counter on the big screen. The organisers plan to collect greetings to athletes from the participants of the World Friendship Games races on all continents.

Nikita Nagornyy, the winner of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Olympic champion, three-time world champion, eight-time European champion, Honoured Master of Sports of Russia, also led the pre-start warm-up for the participants of the race in St. Petersburg together with the Games mascot. Oleg Saitov, two-time Olympic champion, two-time European champion, world champion, Honoured Master of Sports of Russia in Boxing, and Darya Kulaeva, Master of Sports in Bodybuilding, winner of All-Russian and European championships, Executive Director of the All-Russian Public Movement “Healthy Fatherland”, also took part in the race.

Alexey Sorokin, Chief Executive Officer of the World Friendship Games Organising Committee, presented awards to the winners of the 5-kilometre race through the centre of St. Petersburg:

“Holding such races is a great initiative and a wonderful tradition aimed not only at promoting the World Friendship Games, but also at popularising a healthy lifestyle. And running through the central streets and embankments of St. Petersburg, past the State Hermitage and beautiful cathedrals and parks is a special privilege, which, I am sure, all participants of our race appreciated,” Alexey Sorokin said.