More than 1,000 runners from many countries, including China, India, the UK, the US, Ethiopia and Kenya, participated in an international marathon in Yangon ancient capital of Myanmar on January 27.

The event, the first held in the Southeast Asian country for decades, is significant when Myanmar is preparing to host the 27th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games), scheduled for December 2013, which is also its first SEA Games in 44 years.

The marathon indicated a positive sign of dramatic changes that are sweeping the former army-ruled country.

Since taking power in early 2011, Myanmar President U Thein Sein has implemented many reforms and the West has begun removing sanctions against the country.-VNA