Phout Simmalavong took part in a two kilometres Fun Run with Government officials and sports leaders ©OCA

The National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Laos held a Fun Run to celebrate the upcoming Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games as preparations for the multi-sport event ramp up.

The Fun Run took place at the Luang Prabang city centre, splitting into three categories, which were the under 17 years and over 50 years over two kilometres and over 17 years over 5km.

There were 10 winners in the male and female groups that received medals along with participation certificates.

Phout Simmalavong, President of the Laos NOC, took part in a two kilometre walk around the World Heritage City that involved members of the Government and sports leaders.

Vice-president and secretary general Sengphone Phonsmath, who introduced the format during a media conference the day before the run, talked about the impact of this run on the legacy of Luang Prabang.

"The people of Luang Prabang enjoy this kind of community event because, in the past, we have held mini-marathons and Olympic Day celebrations," said Phonsmath.

"The local people are used to getting up early, so for them to gather at 5.30 in the morning is not unusual. 

"There is a tradition here for people to give food to the monks on the side of the road before sunrise, so the day starts early in Luang Prabang city."

Du Zuofeng, the deputy director of the co-host cities department of the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games Organising Committee (HAGOC), explained how the atmosphere was like during the runs.

"I think it’s been a big success," said Du Zuofeng.

"You can see that everyone is happy and that there is a very nice friendly atmosphere.

HAGOC held a media conference to discuss the five main areas of preparation for the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games later this year ©OCA
HAGOC held a media conference to discuss the five main areas of preparation for the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games later this year ©OCA

"I am sure that many people will know more about the Asian Games in Hangzhou through this Fun Run, and that the visitors have learned more about this beautiful and historic city of Luang Prabang."

The HAGOC also held a media conference promoting the Laos leg, where Zuofeng provided updates on the five areas that are under preparation.

"It gives us great pleasure to say that the Fun Run, the Asian Games Young Reporter programme, the Asian Games children’s art competition, as well as other events, are being held in partnership with the OCA," Zuofeng said.

"Excitement for the upcoming Asian Games continues to build in China and Asia as a whole.

"The Asian Games Fun Run being held here in Laos symbolises the good relations between our two great cities."

Activities will continue around Asia, promoting documentaries, television series and songs that represent the Asian Games.

The list includes construction of venues for the competition and training, as well as the main Asian Games Village and five sub-villages.

Another area is event preparation, where 22 test events have been held with 1,300 international technical officials.

Organisers will recruit staff and 38,000 volunteers, forming 41 competition venue teams, 30 non-competition venue teams and 21 teams for independent training venues.

There will also be 78 hotels designated, with six Olympic Council of Asia family hotels and a 25,000 square metres logistics centre already operating.

The Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games is due to take place from September 23 to October 8, with 482 events across 40 sports scheduled.