Marathon Runner Profile
Choke Yasuoka<
Hometown: Fukuoka, Japan
Age: 35
Personal best: 1:23:23 (Oita, 2007)

Career notes: Yasuoka has competed regularly in the Oita Wheelchair marathon in Japan since 1990. His best result was a fourth-place finish in 2007, when he set a new personal best of 1:23:23 and finished one second behind Ernst Van Dyk. Yasuoka won a bronze medal at the 1996 Paralympic Games in Atlanta in the 10,000m. In the 2004 Paralympics in Athens, he upgraded to a gold medal in the 800m, silver in the 400m, and added a bronze in the 4x400 meter relay event with his teammates from Japan. He had a very disappointing 2006 World Championships, finishing in 1:45:42 for 39th place. He fared better in the 5,000m where he won a bronze medal in 11:21:31.

Personal notes: Choke Yasuoka was born Prasopchoke Klungern in Thailand in 1973. He competed for his native country in the 1992, 1996 and 2000 Paralympics, but received special permission by the Association of Disabled in Thailand to compete for Japan in the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens. He married his Japanese wife, Naoe Yasuoka in 2001 after meeting at the Oita Marathon where she worked as a translator. The couple resides in Fukuoka, Japan.
-- Courtesy BAA