Go to contents

Eom to Surprise World in Beijing Olympics With His Speed

Eom to Surprise World in Beijing Olympics With His Speed

Posted January. 15, 2004 23:34,   


At a narrow path in Halla Plant, Jeju Island and at the very beginning of the new year, the “throne” and “future” of Korea marathon ran together.

They are “Bongdari” Lee Bong-joo (34, Samsung Electronics), and Eom Hyo-seok (20), who is attending Konkuk University, respectively. Both of them, separated by 14 years age difference, are currently in winter training preparing for the Seoul International Marathon held on March 14.

“Hyo Seok, I will bet my marathon career on Athens Olympics, and you will take over 2008 Beijing Olympics.” (Lee)

“Thank you. I am honored to be running with you. I will strive to be one of the world’s top marathon runners.” (Eom)

They are generally admitted to be the well-known runner and the most promising runner respectively in Korea marathon. Lee is a runner of iron legs who completed 30 out of 31 full courses from 1990 until last year. He is the most well-known star who achieved the silver medal in Atlanta Olympics, the championship of the Boston Marathon, and two consecutive wins in Asian Games.

Eom is still a developing runner, but his potential is not less than that of Lee’s. He swept out every long-distance race among nine high school competitions in 2002 and came in first place at various short marathons as well as 5,000m and 10,000m. Especially, his speed, finishing 1,500m in 3 minutes and 51 seconds, is so mind-blowing that he fits in with the speed trend of the modern marathon.

Long-distance races, even in athletics, are considered as 3D events. Therefore his surprising advent is an appreciated and nice present to Lee. Lee named Eom as his successor without hesitation.

Eom also caused a strong blast in the university stage by capturing a silver medal in 5,000m race of National Sports Festival in his freshman year. Marathon experts were astonished when he kept pace with the champion, South African Gert Tyse, at the 30 km mark at the Dong-A Seoul International Marathon in March of last year. Lately, he has developed inflammation on the sole of his left foot as a result of overtraining during high school.

“Keeping a good physical condition is the most important thing to a marathon runner. You should quit training and go see the doctor if you have a problem. Stupid endurance is kind of an over pace.” (Lee)

“Thank you for an advice. I liked that you have always made efforts. I will become a runner similar to you.” (Eom)

They again started to run along a tree-lined path with sweet fragrance filling the air.

Jong-Koo Yang yjongk@donga.com