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Marathoner Lee Eyes Athens with Full Confidence after Strong Training

Marathoner Lee Eyes Athens with Full Confidence after Strong Training

Posted July. 13, 2004 22:21,   


“I believe I can do well this time around.” Lee Bong-ju, 34 years old, nicknamed the “Marathoner of the Nation,” will on July 15 enter into the final stage of training for the Athens Marathon which will run through Italy, Switzerland, and Greece. The Athens Olympics marks his third Olympics trial and 32nd full marathon.

In the past four months since April 7, Lee has smoothly undergone intensive training in Daejon; Yuseong; Kunming, China; and Hoenggye, Gangwon. He will take a rest while adjusting himself to the European time zone in Brecia, Italy on July 15-19, perform high-hill training in St. Moritz, Switzerland from July 20-August 6, and regional adjustment in Siba, a nearby town of Athens, on August 7-26. Then, he will stand at the starting line on August 30 at 1:00 a.m. Korea time (6:00 p.m., August 29 local time). The following is Lee’s press conference on July 13 at Samsung Electronics team in Hwaseong.

--What is your resolution for Athens?

“The Athens Marathon has historical meaning. I have my own personal ambitions and know what the public is wishing for. I feel pressured but want to produce the best results. “

--You have run 38-40 kilometers daily for 40 days while training in Hoenggye.

“I am glad I have finished the training without injuries. When I felt toilsome, I always thought of my family. A second child will be born by year-end. In 2002 when my wife was pregnant with the first kid, I won the Busan Asian Games. The similarity gives me a good vibe.”

--The Athens course is known to be difficult. What is your strategy?

“I don’t have anything concrete yet. I will finalize the strategy while I adopt myself to the region with training results.”

“Lee is in good shape, to the point that he was among the world’s top 10 in the first half of the year with his 2 hours 8 minutes and 15 seconds performance at the Seoul International Marathon,” Oh In-hwan, who manages the Samsung track team, said. “He will be vying for the top with Spanish, Moroccan, and Italian runners who are strong in heat and have excellent physiques.”

Sung-Kyu Kim kimsk@donga.com