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Korea’s Rising Marathon Stars

Posted April. 24, 2007 03:02,   

한국어

At the 6th National Section Marathon held on April 22, the star runners were Chungbuk Athletics High School’s Baek Su-in, 18, and Wonju Sangji Girls’ High School’s Jeong Jin-woo, 17. They both played crucial roles in clinching their team’s victory in the competition, which divides a full-course into six sections. Baek Su-in in the 8.1km long second section (23mins 58 sec), and Jeong Jin-woo in the 7.4km first section (24mins 29 sec) contributed to their team by greatly increasing the gap between themselves and the second-place runners.

Baek, a senior at Chungbuk Athletics High, has both endurance and speed. His record for the 5000m is 14.31 minutes, while his 10km record is 30.08 minutes. The recent trend in marathon running is speed, so with more training, he is a talent that can become the ‘next Lee Bong-ju.’ He had been kept behind by Jeon Eun-hoe (Konkuk University), who is praised as the “Second Hwang Yeong-jo,” and until last year remained in the second and third place in several national competitions, but he is thought to have infinite potential. As Jeon enters university this year, Baek is now number one in the high school rankings. When asked why there has recently been no rising marathoner in Korea, he showed that he is one of them, confidently answering, “It’s because there hasn’t been enough effort.” Baek Su-in said, “I like running. After I graduate from high school I want to join a business team and become a marathon runner like Lee Bong-ju.”

Jeong Jin-woo, a senior at Sangji Girls’ High School, had not been able to receive the spotlight because of an injury. She had suffered for a long period of time with both her shins fractured. However, beginning February this year, she brushed off her injury and began proper training, and has changed since then. Jeong now runs with speed that comes from her solid frame of 164 cm and 52 kg. On this day, she was the starting runner for the first section, which decides the overall atmosphere of the race, and led her team to victory by coming in first place, leaving Sokcho Girls’ High School’s Lee Se-jeong behind by 30 seconds.



yjongk@donga.com