Ham Pong-sil from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPR Korea) won the women's marathon onSunday, the sixth day of the week-long athletics tournament at thefortnight Asiad in Busan.
The DPR Korean top marathoner finished the 42.195km race in twohours 33 minutes and 34 seconds to take the first athletics gold for her country.
"I felt exhausted when I covered 37 kilometers, but strength came back to me again as I realised that Leader Kim Jong Il mightbe watching me," she told reporters, with tears dripping down her cheeks after the event. She was surrounded by two DPR Koreans to enter the waiting room, leaving reporters behind.
Han Pong-sil won the international marathon contest in Pyongyang in April in 2:27:07, her personal best in the event.
Harumi Hiroyama of Japan came second clocking 2:34:44, her compatriot Hiromi Ominami finished in 2:37:48 to take the bronze medal.
Omunami said: "I have injuries and not in good form. The weather is hot and I sweated a lot."
She said she was not happy nor sad about today's result, but she "enjoys the process of the race."
"As I am 34 years old. I don't know if I will have any chances to challenge the marathon in the future."
Marathon covers 42.195 kilometers.
(Xinhua News Agency October 13, 2002)