Luvsanlkhündegiin Otgonbayar

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This is a Mongolian name. The given name is Otgonbayar, and the name Luvsanlkhündegiin is a patronymic, not a family name. The subject should be referred to by the given name.
Luvsanlkhündegiin Otgonbayar
Otgonbayar Luvsanlundeg.jpg
Personal information
Born (1982-07-13) July 13, 1982 (age 34)
Height 1.52 m (5 ft 0 in)
Weight 44 kg (97 lb)
Country  Mongolia
Sport Athletics
Event(s) Marathon

Luvsanlkhündegiin Otgonbayar, (Mongolian: Лувсанлхүндэгийн Отгонбаяр; born July 13, 1982)[1] is a Mongolian athlete. She has represented her country by running the marathon at competitions such as the 2004 Summer Olympics, the 2006 Asian Games, the 2007 World Championships and the 2012 Summer Olympics.


Born in Ömnögovi Province,[2] she achieved a degree of fame during the 2004 Olympics by completing the marathon, with a time 3:48:42, despite having dropped half an hour or more behind all the other competitors. Time magazine reported:

By 10 p.m. the race wasn't a race at all, just a solitary Mongolian inching along the track. Otgonbayar, the 22-year-old daughter of camel and sheep herders, didn't so much run into the historic stadium as microshuffle in, with a gait so unhurried that the thousands of cheering spectators could be forgiven for thinking the world had paused or, at the very least, shifted into super slo-mo. […] Motion doesn't get any more triumphal than the descendants of Genghis Khan racing through the grasslands, in pursuit of the true Olympic spirit.[3]

Similarly to Time, the BBC celebrated Otgonbayar as one of the "unsung heroes" of the Olympics.[4] The Marquette Tribune reported that the "Mongolian Luvsanlkhundeg Otgonbayar limped across the finish line 30 minutes after the second slowest runner" while "the remaining crowd clapped in unison as she approached the final 100 meters on her way to finishing the race." The newspaper suggested that she had thus "followed in the footsteps of Pheidippides", running the marathon with notable "courage".[5]

Describing her performance, Otgonbayar said:

"The sound of all the clapping from the fans pushed me forward, and I felt like I was running very fast. Even if I finished last, it was all right, because I still finished and many people, even famous people, didn't do that."[3]

In 2015, she finished 11th at the Hamburg Marathon with a personal best of 2:38.[6]


Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing  Mongolia
2004 Olympic Games Athens, Greece 66th Marathon 3:48:42
2006 Asian Games Guangzhou, China 8th Marathon 2:59:55
2007 World Championships Osaka, Japan 52nd Marathon 3:04:59
2009 World Championships Berlin, Germany Marathon DNF
2010 Asian Games Guangzhou, China 12th 5000 m 17:00.32
2011 World Championships Daegu, South Korea 39th Marathon 2:45:58
2012 Olympic Games London, United Kingdom 102nd Marathon 2:52:15
2015 World Championships Beijing, China Marathon DNF

See also[edit]

  • Pyambuugiin Tuul, another Mongolian athlete who completed an Olympic marathon but finished last
  • Abdul Baser Wasiqi, Afghan Olympic marathoner in 1996, who finished last and constituted his country's entire Olympic team


  1. ^ "Luvsanlkhundeg Otgonbayar", L'Equipe
  2. ^ "Otgonbayar LUVSANLUNDEG". London 2012 Olympics. Archived from the original on 2013-04-05. Retrieved 28 June 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Beaten, But Not Defeated". Time. August 20, 2004. Luvsanlkhundeg Otgonbayar 
  4. ^ "Meet the Olympics' unsung heroes", BBC
  5. ^ "Gutsy runners add intrigue to Athens marathon", The Marquette Tribune
  6. ^

External links[edit]