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Track and field in North Korea?

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  • Track and field in North Korea?

    http://www.thegameoftheirlives.com/

    Are there websites about track in North Korea? I saw the above documentary on PBS recently and was ingtrigued. Do we know what the national records are in the DPRK?

  • #2
    Re: Track and field in North Korea?

    There's not a whole lot of websites in North Korea to start with...
    As for national records, you can find them on http://www.athlerecords.net/indexfuturgbr.htm
    Było smaszno, a jaszmije smukwijne...

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    • #3
      Re: Track and field in North Korea?

      Or you can be terribly old-fashioned and write them here:
      Amateur Athletic Association of DPR of Korea
      PO Box 46
      Kumsong-Dong 2
      Mangyongdae District
      PYONGYANG, DPR OF KOREA

      And if someone replies, chances are pretty good that you'll be the first on your block to have some stamps from N Korea.

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      • #4
        Re: Track and field in North Korea?

        I bet the women's 4 and 8 records date to the '60s!

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        • #5
          Re: Track and field in North Korea?

          >I bet the women's 4 and 8 records date to the '60s!

          Correct! Not bad! :-)

          400m 51.2 Shin Geum Dan 21.10.64 Pyongyang
          800m 1:58.0 Shin Geum Dan 05.09.64 Pyongyang

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          • #6
            Re: Track and field in North Korea?

            Didn't North Korea have a decent marathon runner a few years back?(I know the South has had a few)

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            • #7
              Re: Track and field in North Korea?

              If you can call a world champion a 'decent' runner, then, yes, they did.
              Było smaszno, a jaszmije smukwijne...

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              • #8
                Re: Track and field in North Korea?

                The youthful fortuitous retiree.

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                • #9
                  Re: Track and field in North Korea?

                  <400m 51.2 Shin Geum Dan 21.10.64 Pyongyang
                  800m 1:58.0 Shin Geum Dan 05.09.64 Pyongyang>

                  These are not bad. I don't recall ever hearing of her. Did she do anything in Tokyo? Did they even participate in Tokyo?
                  "A beautiful theory killed by an ugly fact."
                  by Thomas Henry Huxley

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                  • #10
                    Re: Track and field in North Korea?

                    North Korea didn't compete in Olympic track (or maybe Olympic anything?) until 1972. I'm guessing they weren't members of the IOC.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Track and field in North Korea?

                      Yeah, the whole thing about them being Communist kept them out until they along with China PR were admitted (for a while, just like in the UN, Taiwan ROC was officially China, and several other Warsaw Pact countries were not allowed in, along with Rhodesia and South Africa).

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                      • #12
                        Re: Track and field in North Korea?

                        <several other Warsaw Pact countries were not allowed in,>

                        I am not aware of any. There were some international issues when DDR was first formed post WWII, but those were pretty quickly resolved. I am pretty sure they did not compete in London, not sure about Helsinki. They were competing in Melbourne. All the others competed from the 1948 on (possible exception being Albania, which marched to a completely different drummer).
                        "A beautiful theory killed by an ugly fact."
                        by Thomas Henry Huxley

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                        • #13
                          Re: Track and field in North Korea?

                          From a previous thread: http://www.trackandfieldnews.com/tfn/di ... age=118857

                          That's a great catch on Shin, Geum Dan. I had never heard of her, but here are her 400m World Rankings:

                          1959-7
                          1960-1
                          1961-1
                          1962-1
                          1963-1
                          1964-1
                          1966-4
                          1967-8

                          Can anyone provide a recap of her life/career, or a link to a good story on her? Did she ever run in the USA, for example?

                          ********

                          That woman was way ahead of her time... Between 1960 and 1962, she took the WR at 400 meters from 53.4 to 51.2, which wasn't broken until 1970. At 800, she was even better: first, in 1961, she broke the WR by 3.1 seconds (!), running 2:01.2, then, after this time was equalled by Dixie Willis of Australia, she ran 1:59.1 in 1963 and 1:58.0 in 1964 - not bettered until 1973 !!! Most of her WRs were never ratified, though (in fact I think only one of them was) - I believe the problem was that they were achieved in events not recognized by the IAAF. I'm pretty sure she never ran in the US, or anywhere in the West. She didn't even make it to the Olympics... She did, however, race in the Soviet Union.

                          One thing I didn't know about her, but found out from a Google search was that her femininity has been called into question.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Track and field in North Korea?

                            Umm a few East bloc athletes had these allegations.....

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                            • #15
                              Re: Track and field in North Korea?

                              Her gender was called into question but she passed tests and had children. There's as little doubt about her gender as is reasonable for a person of that time living in a totalitarian state.

                              North Korea's absence from the Olympics until 1972 was politically-based. They applied for IOC membership in 1956 but were rejected as a separate nation; they were approved in 1957 so long as their athletes formed one Korean team. Remember, there's been no peace treaty; technically the war is still on. Their participation in 1963's GANEFO was a bit of an issue, too, but I don't know if it resulted in suspension from the IAAF or IOC. In any case, North Korea was a member of the IAAF at one point during Shin Geum Dan's career because one of her 400m marks was approved as a WR.

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