Wang Junxia

Born Jan 19, 1973
Nationality China China

Wang Junxia is a Chinese born former long-distance runner. She was born on January 19, 1973 in Jiaohe, Jilin Province, China into a peasant family. As a teenager, Junxia started running and in due time, she was coached by the known Ma Junren. Although Junren was known as being demanding and having a rather cruel training regimen for his players, he was also known to produce record-breaking performances for his star athletes.

Junxia has stated that she considers 1992 to 1996 her best years. It was during those years that she was able to beat Gete Wami from Ethiopia during the world junior championships. She has also experienced a rather short but very important achievement by setting a world-leading time in a marathon at 2:24:07. By May of 1993, she broke the Asian set record for 3000 m at the time of 8:27.68 during the Chinese National Championships.

By August of the same year, Junren’s female runners took all the world titles from 1500 to 10,000 m in an event held in Stuttgart, Germany. During that time, Junxia claimed another win although she was diagnosed to be sick before the day of the race.

The following year, Junxia was awarded the Jesse Owens for her impressive performance during 1993. She is known as the first and only Chinese and Asian who has won the prize to date. By 1995, Junxia and her teammates broke away from Junren due to some prize money issues as well as his obvious coaching style. Although she tried training by herself, Junxia transferred to Mao Dezhen and within a year, she retired from running and married Zhan Yu.

There have been speculation about her performance especially since Junren had shared that the fungus Cordyceps sinensis had helped Junxia maintain her physical condition.

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