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Kim Ju-seong Runs in Donga Marathon for Korea’s Entry to the World Cup

Kim Ju-seong Runs in Donga Marathon for Korea’s Entry to the World Cup

Posted February. 20, 2005 22:58,   


Director of the Korea Football Association Kim Joo-seong (39), also known as a “wild horse on green ground,” is about to transform himself into a marathoner.

He will make his debut as a marathoner in the upcoming 2005 Seoul International Marathon 2005 to be held March 13 (start line at Gwanghwamun, Seoul, finish line at Jamshil Stadium) and the 76th Dong-A Marathon. Behind his intention to tread the “42.195 kilometer-long thorny paths” lie the wishes of Kim, who made his name on the Korean soccer stage back in the 1980s and 90s, that Korea will advance to the World Cup soccer tournament for the sixth time in a row.

Director Kim is a former soccer star who once led his Busan Daewoo team before moving on to Bochum, one of the teams in the Bundesliga of Germany. He played in the 1986 Mexico, 1990 Italy and 1994 America World Cup matches and in 72 Group-A matches, scoring 10 goals. He was selected as MVP by the association of Asian football reporters for three consecutive years starting in 1988, and retired in 1999 to become a football administrator.

“By running in the marathons, I want to wish for the Korean national soccer team’s advance into the World Cup games at a time when my junior players are now in the throes of play in the Asia final preliminary matches. This is my first try in the full marathon course, yet I would like to show that I, as their former senior soccer player, am running along with them, hoping for their entry into the World Cup,” said Kim.

He has not worked out much for the past five years. Nonetheless, he is now keen to prepare for the upcoming marathons physically, as illustrated in an anecdote that he, in January, brought with him a pair of running shoes to run when he went to see and analyze the African youth soccer team for World Youth Soccer Tournament. These days, he runs everyday in a park in his neighborhood in Bundang, Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province, and the Korea Football Association gym.

Kim has had his physical condition thoroughly checked recently in the sports health medical center at Seoul Asan Hospital to see if he is ready to run a full marathon course. He was told that he was fine to run the course after getting an exercise load test (aimed at seeing how severe exercise one’s heart can sustain), exercise physical strength test and health physical strength test.

He said, “If I can’t run, then I will walk and finish the course to support my junior soccer players.”

Jong-Koo Yang yjongk@donga.com