Length of Track Never Changes
A juvenile track and field championship took place in Jakarta of Indonesia for the first time in Asia in December 1986.
An athlete from the DPRK bagged two gold medals in the women’s 3 000-metre and 5 000-metre races. She is Kim Chun Mae, Merited Athlete, who is now an instructor at the juvenile sports school in Pothonggang District of Pyongyang.
Born in Sinwon County of South Hwanghae Province, she was very fond of running from her childhood.
Whenever she proved successful at the school sports contest, the elderly villagers would say that she took after her father who got an ox as a prize for his good running in his young days.
At the national sports contest of juvenile sports schools held in August 1979, she was in favour of Sin Kum Dan who was a coach of the then Amnokgang Sports Club.
At that time, she took off her shoes at the starting line and breasted the tape of 3 000-metre race. She declined the offer of Sin who asked her to run together.
Recollecting that time, she said: Frankly speaking, I was not sure whether I could be successful or not in the running. So, I answered her that I would be a teacher after my graduation from Korea University of Physical Education. But the coach never gave up her plan and took me to her sports club one year later.
She had a good experience at the club. Out of her subjective desire to win from the outset of her life at the club, she was taken in by her seniors’ tactics only to suffer a big loss on several occasions. What depressed her was the fact that the coach trained her as a substitute player as she was of small stature of 155 cm. But she never lost her heart. Her craze for winning victory encouraged her to make redoubled efforts.
She began to sweat more in training in order to live up to the expectations of her parents and relatives, teachers of her alma mater and villagers.
Her painstaking efforts bore good fruits. She snatched 2 gold medals in the 1 500m and 3 000m events of the 6th People’s Games in 1983 and proved successful at several other national games.
One day when she was in training at a mountain base in Romania in 1985, she happened to see a DPRK documentary televised by that country.
Strong yearning for her motherland and dear village greatly encouraged her to win the international competition the following day, setting a new national record. Later, she renewed her records in succession. In the course of this, she was awarded the title of Merited Athlete. After graduation from Korea University of Physical Education she started her career as an athlete instructor at the aforesaid juvenile sports school.
Her disciple Pak Ju Hyang took the first place in the 400-metre running at the 55th national juvenile sports school games last year.
Kim Chun Mae always says to her students: Your heart should remain unchanged as the length of the track never changes. To this end, you should sweat more on the track.
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