Go to contents

Korean Marathon, Who Is the Queen?

Posted March. 09, 2002 09:45,   


“Let’s distinguish the true marathon queen.”

Domestic ladies marathon is dominated by `the three`, who are Kwon Eun-Ju (25. Samsung Electronics), Yoon Sun-Sook (30. Seoul Metropolitan Development Corp.), and Oh Mi-Ja (32. Iksan city office). Including Kwon’s best Korean record (2 hrs. 26 min. 12 sec.), they had been conquering the major tournaments, such as Donga Seoul International Marathon (Yoon Sun-Sook), Chosun Ilbo Chuncheon Marathon (Kwon Eun-Ju), and Jeonju Kunsan Marathon (Oh Mi-Ja). However, they have never ran together.

That is why 2002 Donga Seoul International Marathon, which will take place on the 17th, will be the deciding point of Korean marathon’s true queen. Kwon, Yoon, and Oh all declared their participation and victory in the marathon, which has the entry ticket to this year’s Pusan Asian Games.

Korean marathon’s popular star Kwon returned from her 85 day-training in China, and is prepared to “break the 26 minute-boundary and show who really is the best.”

Kwon suddenly appeared in 1997 breaking the `fatal 2 hour 30 minute-boundary`, and has just escaped from the injury nightmare that followed for the past 4 years to enjoy her `second golden era`. She won the title of Chuncheon Marathon last year, and also gained full confidence, as she came 3rd (1 hr. 14 min. 16 sec), without too much pressure, in a half-marathon, which she participated to prepare for Donga Marathon.

Kwon is currently concentrating at her final training in Chuncheon, and she said with confidence of victory, “I’ve completed full training for the first time. I feel increasingly good. Because a lot of good runners are coming, good records will also be set.”

So-called `human locomotive`, Yoon Sun-Sook is seeking her second victory in ladies division. She set her best record during last year’s Donga Marathon, which was 2 hours 32 minutes 09 second. This time’s goal is 2 hour 27 minute-range. She is presently in her best shape, after the Jeju- field training that began from December 11, last year, and the Chuncheon field training that began from February 14. Yoon’s weakness was her speed, but as she worked on it, the record improved to as good as 16 minutes 30 seconds in 5,000 meters. She is currently finalizing her training in Chuncheon working on short-distances like 5, 10, and 15 kilometers.

The `eldest` among the three athletes, Oh Mi-Ja, has aimed on this year as the last one of her marathon life. She plans to retire after winning the gold medal in Pusan Asian Games. That is why she is particularly eager for Donga Marathon. She is trying her best to secure the entry ticket. Oh, who has set the Korean record (2 hrs. 30 min. 09 sec.) in 1996 Donga Marathon, well-finished the Jeju field training and also completed speed and interval trainings.

Jong-Koo Yang yjongk@donga.com