You Are Here > SR/Olympics > Athletes > Son Gi-Jeong

Son Gi-Jeong

Full name: Son Gi-Jeong
Original name: 손 기정
Other name(s): Kitei Son, 孫基禎, Sohn Kee-Chung
Gender: Male
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
Weight: 132 lbs (60 kg)
Born: August 29, 1914 in Sinuiju, Sinuiju, North Korea
Died: November 15, 2002 in Daejeon, Daejeon, South Korea
Country: JPN Japan
Sport: Athletics

Medals: 1 Gold (1 Total)

Biography

Son Gi-Jeong, who was forced to compete at the 1936 Olympics under the Japanese name Kitei Son because Korea had been annexed by the Japanese, became the first Korean to win an Olympic gold when he finished first in the Berlin Olympic marathon. Son started as a track runner in the 1,500 and 5K, but a win in an 8-mile race in October 1933 turned him to longer distances. Between 1933 and 1936, Son ran 12 marathons, winning 9 of them, never finishing worse than third. On 3 November 1935 in Tokyo, Son set a world best in the marathon with a time of 2-26:42 and this record remained unbroken until Son's own trainee Seo Yun-Bok won the 1947 Boston marathon with a time of 2-25:39. After finishing his sporting career Son worked as an athletics coach in Korea, training the national marathon squad. He also became the chairman of the Korean Sporting Association. In 1988 Son was chosen to light torch at the Opening Ceremony of the Seoul Olympics.

Personal Best: Mar – 2-26:42 (1935).

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1936 Summer 21 Berlin Athletics Men's Marathon Japan JPN 1 Gold OB

Men's Marathon

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T
1936 Summer 21 Berlin Athletics Japan Final Standings 1 OB 2-29:19.2