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Naturalized marathoner Oh Joo-han achieves his Olympic dream despite withdrawal Updated: 2021-08-13 13:39:11 KST


Oh Joo-han was the first South Korean athlete to qualify,for the Tokyo Olympics.
The naturalized marathoner was a strong contender.
But a thigh injury forced the 33 year-old, to pull out in the middle of the race.
Oh's journey might NOT have reached the podium.
But he did realize his Olympic dream running for Korea.

Born in Kenya, Oh was discovered and trained by national marathon coach Oh Chang-seok,… while he was running a marathon camp there.
And Korea has become so special to him, being the home of his Korean father.
So, he wanted to represent the country, with the name Oh Joo-han.
His name has a special meaning.
Joo stands for "run".
Han stands for "Korea".
Oh,… follows after coach Oh's last name.
The name, translates into "I run for Korea."

"Korea is my home and the Olympics is my dream. I want to win a medal."

Winning several international marathons in Korea since 2011, Oh eventually achieved South Korean citizenship in 2018, through "special naturalization" granted to qualified athletes.

"If all goes well,… I hope I can be in the top three and get a medal. I will train my best and fight for the top three."

The runner, vowed his all to win an Olympic medal, after his late coach Oh passed away in May.
He will have to make another attempt at it next time, but fans here have already sent their support.
And, joining him on that next journey will be four other naturalized athletes who competed at Tokyo 2020.
Rugby player Andre Jin.
Table tennis players Jeon Ji-hee and Choi Hyo-joo.
And basketball player Jin An.
And for the next three years, they will once again try their best to make South Korea proud.
Lee Kyung-eun, Arirang News.
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