Go to contents

Record-breaking Machine Malfunction

Posted April. 17, 2007 08:05,   


On April 16, during the men’s 100-meter semifinals at the 62nd National College Field and Track Championship held in Andong, the first group of Sohn Hae-seong (Dong-A University), Park Pyeong-hwan (Chosun University), and Cho Yeong-uk (Korea National Sport University) checked their times and shook their heads in disbelief.

Sohn clocked in at 10.24 seconds, Park at 10.29, and Cho at 10.31. The Korean record for the men’s 100-meter race had remained unchanged for 28 years since the 1979 Mexico Summer Universiad when Seo Mal-gu (currently, a professor at the Korea Naval Academy) came in at 10.34 seconds. It was unbelievable that all three had broken this record simultaneously.

Prior to this competition, Sohn’s best time had been 10.58 seconds at the 2003 national championships, Park’s was 10.46, and Cho’s 2003 record was his best, at 10.70 seconds. Winter training sessions had finished only some time before so they were feeling heavy, and all had not tried their best because it was the semifinals. But inexplicably, they broke the Korean record.

The happy story ended in a malfunctioning time-recording device.

In the finals, Kim Jin-guk (Sungkyunkwan University) won with a time of 10.633 seconds, and second place went to Lee Joon-woo (Korea National Sport University) with 10.635 seconds. Sohn (10.72), Cho (10.73), and Park (10.74) who had aced the semifinals in record-breaking time, finished third, fourth, and fifth place respectively.

Vice President of the Korea Athletics Federation facilities committee Yoo Moon-jong said, “With the electronic start signal, the recording device sensors were supposed to activate, but we think there was an error during that process.”

The previously wired guns were changed to wireless ones, and he explains that there must have been an error in the electronic waves. The men’s breaking record in 28 years was invalidated.

Last year, they were also unable to find the reason behind the mysteriously fast times during the short-distance games in Andong.