22 March 1970|
Samcheok, Gangwon-do, South Korea
Born in Samcheok, South Korea, Hwang was a promising track athlete in his junior years, but after his first marathon in 1991, which he won, decided to specialize in marathon.
The Barcelona Olympic marathon was only fourth of his career. He had won two and placed second in his three previous marathon competitions. In Barcelona, Hwang was in the leading pack from the start, but in a slowly run race, this group still numbered thirty runners at the halfway mark. However, runners gradually lost contact with the leaders in the second half of the race, until at 35 km, only Hwang and Kōichi Morishita from Japan remained. They had quite a memorable struggle, until Hwang broke free after 40 km to win a gold medal.
Hwang raced sparingly after Barcelona, and he retired after injury prevented him from representing South Korea in the 1996 Olympics.
Hwang was depicted on the 2006 Berlin Marathon medal to commemorate his victory in the 1992 Olympic marathon event.
South Koreans' Olympic marathon medals
Hwang has been one of two Korean athletes to win the Olympic marathon. The other winner was Sohn Kee-chung. Hwang's contemporary South Korean athlete Lee Bong-Ju won the silver medal in the marathon at the 1996 Summer Olympics held in Atlanta, and Nam Sung-yong won the bronze medal at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin at the same race that Sohn Kee-chung won.