BEIJING, Nov. 11 (Xinhua) -- Beijing International Marathon never refused Japanese athletes to participate, Chinese Athletic Association said.
"Beijing Marathon has never refused Japanese marathon fans to participate. Beijing Marathon has been open to marathon fans from every country and region all over the world since its inauguration," said the association's deputy director Shen Chunde in a report published on the official website.
Some reports had said that the 2012 competition did not admit Japanese runners as there was no option of Japan as to nationality in the application page.
"As far as last year's registration concerned, it was rare that Japanese runners signed up online individually. Basically they applied through Japanese enterprises," Shen explained.
"So this year, we remained to accept group registration because it is convenient for the Japanese participants to look after each other and also it is easy to handle in terms of picking up competition numbers and outfits. Therefore, there was no registration option for individual Japanese marathon fans," Shen said.
"Since Japanese runners are enthusiastic and would like to apply as individuals, we will open this channel," Shen said.
"Beijing Marathon, with openess, will always welcome runners from all over the world to compete, to experience an open Beijing, an open China," he added.
This year's competition will kick off on Nov. 25 at Tian'anmen Square. There have been over 29,000 people applying to run in this annual event.