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Naturalized marathoner Oh Joo-han says his goal for 2020 Tokyo Olympics is top three
Updated: 2019-11-07 10:06:22 KST
Oh Joo-han, a Kenyan-born runner and naturalized citizen of South Korea, always wears a wristband designed with the Korean national flag - which was made by his mother in Kenya.
Oh said being able to represent Korea is very special to him.

"The Korean flag on my chest is the love I have for Korea. I love running for Korea. I want to compete for Korea. So I think having the flag is very meaningful for me."

The 30-year old Kenyan-born runner said his Korean agent played a major role in his decision to represent South Korea.
He said winning several international marathons in Korea since 2011 also affected his decision.
Oh eventually was officially naturalized as a South Korean citizen last year.

And just last month, the 30-year old runner became the first South Korean to secure his ticket to represent the country at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics after finishing the 2019 Gyeongju International Marathon in 2-hours 8-minutes and 42 seconds.

"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 naturalized runner said he has been getting a lot of support from both Koreans and Kenyans, as well as media attention.
He added he's not taking anything for granted.

"To my supporters, I love you all. I will not let you down. I will do my best to make you proud with my running."

Oh Joo-han and his coach plan to go back to Kenya sometime in November for a winter training session before coming back to Korea for the Seoul International Marathon in March 2020.
Kan Hyeong-woo, Arirang News, Cheongyang.
Reporter : hwkan@arirang.com