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North korea dominate marathon

 Image North Korean athletes yesterday took  home  almost  HKD300 thousand yesterday after claim-ing the men¡¦s title in the Macau Interna-tional Marathon and first and second in the women's race. 

Two hours, 17.40 minutes after Ri Kum Song started out on the 42.195 kilometre run he crossed the finish line at Macau Stadium.

The Korean put in a machine-like perfor- mance to claim the first win of his career  " I ran and ran today to be able to give a good report to the great leader of our country." said Ri through a translator.Although more than three minutes slow-er than his best time, the Korean had toreally push his body to claim the win.The  seventh  fastest  of  the  12  invited male runners arrived in Macau feeling less than fit for the race.

"I  had  a  stomach  ache  and  doubted whether or not I could get first place." said Ri before slipping off to claim the HKD117 thousand in prize money from sponsor Galaxy Entertainment Group."The condition of my body wasn¡¦t so good but I made up my mind to win and did it thanks to my strong mind and courage." Country man Ri Hyon U finished  the race in fifth spot.

Also bound to put a smile on the face of North Korea's "dear leader"  premier Kim Yong-il, was the effort of the coun-try's women runners.

For the second consecutive year, Phyo Un Suk of North Korea took out the ti-tle in 2 hours 38.27 minutes, with team mate Kim Chol sun crossing the finish line 1.35 minutes behind to claim sec-
ond place.

The effort of the two Koreans relegated 2005 winner, Russia¡¦s Natalya Volgina, to third.