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05 Dec 2016
Glory for DPR Korea in Macau international women’s marathon
Macau, China, December 4, 2016: Kim Ji Hyang of DPR Korea is gaining quite a reputation for herself in women’s marathon running. Having already won the New Taipei City International Marathon in 2014 and the Mangyongdae Prize International Marathon in her home capital Pyongyang this April, the 21-year-old Kim added the Macau Galaxy Entertainment International Marathon to her collection on Sunday morning.
With 10,000 runners from 46 countries and regions competing in three events – Mini Marathon, Half Marathon and International Marathon – Kim came home in 2 hours, 36 minutes and 16 seconds. Kenyans Joan Jepchirchir Kigen and Chemtai Rionotukei were second and third, respectively, in 2:36.48 and 2:38.19, while a second runner from North Korea, Ri Kwang Ok, finished fourth in 2:39.43.
“It’s my first time to run in Macau so I am very happy to win here,” said Kim, after receiving a cheque for 40,000 USD. “However, I know I need to train more because the level here is not the same as the Olympic Games and Asian Games or the World Championships.”
Kim, who was competing in her third overseas international marathon, trains mostly at home in North Korea, but has also attended a camp in Kunming, China. She has been running the marathon since she was 15 years old and runs and exercises up to three hours a day to fine-tune her body for the tough 42.195-km event.
As for the winner’s cheque of 40,000 USD, Kim said this was not her own personal prize and would be used for the overall development of the sport in DPR Korea. Looking back on her first visit to Macau, which is known as “the Las Vegas of the East” because of its glittering luxury casinos, Kim said: “It has been very interesting to come to Macau. Everybody has been very kind to us, but so far we have only been thinking about the race and training for this day.”
With a free afternoon before returning to Pyongyang on Monday, the five-strong DPRK delegation – three runners, one coach and an interpreter – were planning to see some of the sights for the remainder of their stay. In the men’s marathon, Kenya recorded a 1-2-3 through Peter Kimeli Some (2:12.52), Dominic Kangor Kimwetich (2:13.19) and Suleiman Kipkesis Simotwo (2:15.21).
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