Olympic Stories

Sun Yingjie

Sun Yingjie

Sun Yingjie is a female long distance runner from China. She was born on 19th January 1979 in Sujiatun, China. Yingjie ran mostly in marathons between 1997 and 2000, with her first big marathon even being the Chinese National Games, coming 10th with a time of 2:32:43.

The next year she ran in the National Championships where she achieved her first time under 2:30 hours. The next major mention was in Seville in 1999 when she finished in 12th place with a time of 2:30:12.

In 201, she ran the Chinese National Games again, and came 3rd in the 5,000 metre race and then 2nd in the 10,000 metre race.

Yingjie became famous and well known for her running when she won two gold medals in the Asian Games of 2002, held in Busan. Her time for this race was also 2nd best in the world for that year. She later won a bronze medal at the World Championships in Paris in 2003 for her performance in the 10,000 metre race, which was her best achievement to date at the time.

The race was the quickest women’s race over the 10,000 metre distance. The same year she went on to win another two gold medals in the Asian Athletic Championships as well as the Beijing Marathon. In the Beijing Marathon she set the Asian record for her time of 2:21:01.

Yingjie ran in the Olympics which were held in Athens in 2004, where she reached 8th position in both the 5,000 metre and 10,000 metre finals. She also won a gold medal at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships of 2004 setting a new national record. Then in 2005 she won the Beijing Marathon once again, and also ran in the World Championships. Just two days after winning the Beijing Marathon for the 2nd time, she ran in the Chinese National Games where she came 2nd, securing a silver medal for her efforts.

2005 however was not a great year for Yingjie, after she was banned from running after testing positive in a drugs test after the race in Nanjing where she came 2nd. She was banned for an entire 2 years from running in any championships. Her former training partner, Yu Haijiang confessed to spiking her drink, however the courts still held her to the ban for the entire term of 2 years.

She returned to running in 2008 and debuted with a run at the Xiamen International Marathon, where she started out extremely well but began to flag towards the end. And 2008 continued as it started when she failed to make it into the Olympics of that year. She finished outside the top 8 runners in both the 5,000 and 10,000 metre races in the Chinese Outdoor Grand Prix.

Since the unsuccessful and disappointing year of 2008, Yingjie has not completed internationally. The final run of her career was due to be at the 2009 Chinese National Games, however she did not enter in and run the race.

Career Highlights

  • 2005 Beijing Marathon – 1st
  • 2004 World Half Marathon Championships – Gold
  • 2003 World Championships - Bronze
  • 2002 Asian Games – Gold (2)

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