Ex-Boston Marathon champion Suh Yun-bok passes away

By a2017001
  • Published : Jun 27, 2017 - 11:23
  • Updated : Jun 27, 2017 - 16:38
Suh Yun-bok, who won the 1947 Boston Marathon with a world record time, passed away on Tuesday. He was 94 years old.

The Korea Association of Athletics Federations said Suh died of natural causes at around 4:40 a.m.

former Boston Marathon champion Suh Yun-bok (Korean Sport & Olympic Committee)

Suh became the first Asian champion of the Boston Marathon in 1947, setting the then-world record with 2:25.39. It was also the first world record set at the Boston Marathon, which began in 1897.

Suh also participated in the 1948 London Olympics, and retired the following year. He spent the next four decades as a sports administrator in South Korea, serving as an executive director and then vice president for the KAAF, and also as vice chairman for the Korean Olympic Committee.

When Suh won the Boston Marathon, he was being coached by Sohn Kee-chung, the 1936 Berlin Olympics champion and another iconic South Korean athlete. Suh's trip to the United States was financed by the American troops serving in Korea at the time, and flew on a U.S. military plane.

Late South Korean runner Suh Yun-bok cross the finish line to win the 1947 Boston Marathon on April 19, 1947. (Korean Sport & Olympic Committe)

For his accomplishments and contributions to South Korean sports, Suh was recognized as a National Sports Hero by the national Olympic body in 2013.

Suh is survived by his wife, Yong Young-ja, and three children. (Yonhap)