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Pak Song-chol (athlete)

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Pak Song-chol (born 10 November 1984) is a North Korean long-distance runner who specializes in the marathon. His personal best time is 2:12:41 hours in 2007, winning the Pyongyang Marathon.[1] He has represented North Korea at the Summer Olympics on two occasions (2008 and 2012) and the 2010 Asian Games. He won a silver medal at the 2009 East Asian Games, running in the half marathon.

Pak Song-chol
Song-Chol Pak (North Korea) - London 2012 Mens Marathon.jpg
Pak Song-chol in the marathon at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London
Personal information
Born (1984-11-10) November 10, 1984 (age 33)
Height 1.7 m (5 ft 7 in)
Weight 60 kg (132 lb)
Country  North Korea
Sport Athletics
Event(s) Marathon
Korean name
Chosŏn'gŭl 박성철
Revised Romanization Bak Seongcheol
McCune–Reischauer Pak Sŏngch'ŏl


Born in South Hwanghae Province,[2] Pak's first marathon race came at the Pyongyang Marathon in 2005. After racing at the Xiamen and Macau Marathon races in 2006, he dipped under two hours and twenty minutes for the first time in 2007: he won the Pyongyang race in a personal best of 2:12:41 hours and also ran at the Beijing Marathon, timing 2:15:17 hours for eleventh place.[3] He defended his Pyongyang title in 2008 and was selected to compete in the 2008 Olympic marathon, where he placed 40th overall.[1]

Pak managed only sixth at the 2009 Pyongyang Marathon but he was entered into the men's marathon at the 2009 World Championships in Athletics and came 43rd with a time of 2:21:12. He won his first international medal at the East Asian Games that year, taking the half marathon silver.[4] He had a strong run at the 2010 Pyongyang race, running 2:14:09 – his fastest time since 2007. However, he had to settle for second place behind surprise winner Ivan Babaryka.[5] He ran at the 2010 Asian Games and was eighth in the marathon. In his sole outing of 2011, he represented North Korea at the 2011 World Military Games, finishing fifth.

The 2012 Pyongyang Marathon was held as part of celebrations for the 100 years since Kim Il-sung's birth and featured one of the race's closest ever finishes: Pak recorded the same time as Oleksandr Matviychuk (2:12:54 hours), but it was the Ukrainian who topped the podium.[6] He was chosen to race at the Olympics for a second time and ended the 2012 Olympic men's marathon in 52nd place.[2] He had his third fastest time of his career in Pyongyang in 2013, but managed only fourth place behind foreign opposition.[7]


Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
2005 Pyongyang Marathon Pyongyang, North Korea 18th Marathon 2:23:36
2006 Xiamen International Marathon Xiamen, China 16th Marathon 2:20:40
2007 Pyongyang Marathon Pyongyang, North Korea 1st Marathon 2:12:41
2007 Beijing Marathon Beijing, China 11th Marathon 2:15:17
2008 Xiamen International Marathon Xiamen, China 8th Marathon 2:15:34
2008 Pyongyang Marathon Pyongyang, North Korea 1st Marathon 2:14:22
2008 Olympics Beijing, China 40th Marathon 2:21:16
2009 Pyongyang Marathon Pyongyang, North Korea 6th Marathon 2:15:53
2009 World Championships Berlin, Germany 43rd Marathon 2:21:12
2009 East Asian Games Hong Kong 2nd Half marathon 1:06:05
2010 Pyongyang Marathon Pyongyang, North Korea 2nd Marathon 2:14:09
2010 Asian Games Guangzhou, China 6th Marathon 2:18:16
2011 Military World Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 5th Marathon 2:21:59
2012 Pyongyang Marathon Pyongyang, North Korea 2nd Marathon 2:12:54
2012 Olympics London, United Kingdom 52nd Marathon 2:20:20
2013 Pyongyang Marathon Pyongyang, North Korea 4th Marathon 2:13:24
2014 Pyongyang Marathon Pyongyang, North Korea 6th Marathon 2:15:01


  1. ^ a b Pak Song-chol profile at IAAF
  2. ^ a b Pak Song-Chol Archived 2013-04-07 at the Wayback Machine.. London2012. Retrieved on 2013-04-18.
  3. ^ Pak Song-Chol. Tilastopaja. Retrieved on 2013-04-18.
  4. ^ Krishnan, Ram. Murali (2009-12-13). East Asian Games conclude. IAAF. Retrieved on 2013-04-18.
  5. ^ Jalava, Mirko (2010-04-12). Surprise victory by Babaryka in Pyongyang – Mangyongdae Prize Marathon report. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-04-12.
  6. ^ Jalava, Mirko (2012-04-09). Tight finish in Pyongyang. IAAF. Retrieved on 2012-04-21.
  7. ^ Jalava, Mirko (2013-04-15). Home victory for Kim Mi Gyong in Pyongyang, Nigusse takes men's title. IAAF. Retrieved on 2013-04-18.