The DPRK flag was hoisted in Seville of Spain in August 1999.
A DPRK dark horse broke the tape in the women’s marathon event of the Seventh World Athletics Championships.
The news astonished the athletics world and gave encouragement and confidence to the Korean people who were on the Arduous March.
Lots of people turned out on Pyongyang streets to accord the marathon queen who returned home a tumultuous welcome and warm congratulations. She was Jong Song Ok (pictured).
Honoured with the titles of DPRK Hero and People’s Athlete, she now works as secretary general of the Athletics Association of the DPRK.
She still stays on the track with the spirit and ardour she displayed to win the marathon race.
As an official, she may confine herself to giving the training direction and other instructions to coaches, but she always finds herself among athletes to live and do training with them so as to correctly grasp their physical fitness, merits and demerits and help coaches find out suitable training assignments and methods. In the course of this, she also devises new instruction and training methods in line with the world trend of development of track-and-field technology.
“Marathon requires high physical fitness, immense spiritual strength and great perseverance. Therefore, it is important to select those who have natural aptitude and give them individualized instruction and training,” said Jong.
As she always leads a life among players, she scarcely finds time to return home.
Whenever she goes back home, she feels sorry for her husband and son, she said. “But my husband always encourages me to responsibly do my duty as an official in charge of the development of the country’s athletics, before caring about our family.”
Thanks to her caring husband, she is able to concentrate all her energy on work.
She has trained more than 10 marathon aces including Kim Hye Gyong and Kim Kum Ok who became Asian marathon champions twice and thrice respectively.
Jong said she has still a goal to attain: Training of world marathon champions who will exalt the honour of the country.
With this dream in mind she continues to run along the track with players.