Wang Zhenglin

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameWang•Zhenglin
Used nameWang•Zhenglin
Name orderOriental
Original name王•正林
Other namesWang Chen Ling
Born21 October 1912 in Shanghai, Shanghai (CHN)
Died30 April 2001 in ? (USA)
Measurements166 cm / 57 kg
NOC People's Republic of China


Wang Zhenglin, called the “creator of Chinese long-distance running”, was born in the Jiangsu province and lived in Shanghai. At the 1936 Berlin Olympics, he was also entered in the 10,000 m, which was contested on the first day of the athletics competition. But Wang decided not to start, but rather to concentrate on the marathon. Although he fell behind early in the race and finished almost one hour behind the winner, Wang did not quit and completed the course. His first international appearance was at the 1934 Far Eastern Games and a major achievement came in 1935, setting a national record in the 3,000 m. In the year of the Olympics in 1936, Wang also broke the record in the 5,000 m with a time of 17:13.4. After World War II, he continued to compete, setting new records in the 5,000 m in 1946 and 1947, to eventually 16:51.0.

Allegedly Wang also went to London to take part in the 1948 Olympics, but there is no record of him competing. He was, however, also the tutor of deaf and dumb 1948 Olympian Luo Wenao and accompanied him on his return to China via North America, where they are reported to have competed in long distance runs and marathons. They both went back by boat to Hong Kong, but did not dare to go to Shanghai where the People’s Liberation Army had just taken control. Lou stayed in Hong Kong, but little is known about the fate of Wang Zhenglin. In 1950, he won Hong Kong’s New Year’s Day international long-distance race representing the South China Association. Obviously, he then returned to the United States and later also became a US Citizen. Wang competed in international master’s championships including the 1985 World Championships in Italy. At the national athletics championships in the United States, he became a multiple champion.

Personal Best: Mar – 3-25:37 (1936).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1936 Summer Olympics Athletics CHN Wang Zhenglin
Marathon, Men (Olympic) 40