Unified rowing team finishes last in Asian Games debut
The unified Korean men’s rowing team finished last in its qualification group in its Asian Games debut on Sunday.
Kim Su-min and Park Tae-hyun from South Korea and Yun Chol-jin and Hong Hun from North Korea finished last among four teams in Heat 1 of the lightweight men’s four competition with a time of 7:12.74. The 2,000-meter race took place at Jakabaring Lake inside Jakabaring Sports City in Palembang, a co-host city of the 2018 Asian Games along with Jakarta. Indonesia topped Heat 1 at 6:49.25, earning a spot in the Final A set for Thursday, with Uzbekistan, Hong Kong and Korea coming behind.
South’s wrestling coach calls for more training with North
South Korean national wrestling team head coach Park Jang-soon said Saturday he wants more joint training sessions with North Koreans in the future to promote athletic exchanges between the two countries.
South and North Korea had joint wrestling training for the second straight day at a training facility inside the Jakarta International Expo in the Indonesian capital to prepare for the 18th Asian Games. Park, a 1992 Olympic gold medalist in men’s freestyle wrestling, said the two sides should have more practice sessions together in the future.
“I want to see South Korean and North Korean wrestlers training together even after this Asian Games,” he said. “Why can’t we train together in Seoul or in Pyongyang?”
For this year’s Asian Games, the South and the North have formed joint teams in three sports: women’s basketball, canoeing and rowing.
“People only talk about forming unified Korean teams in ball sports, but wrestling should be considered as well,” he said. “This is a sport in which the athletes actually make close physical contact, and it shows the power of collaboration.”
The wrestlers from the South and North trained together after Park proposed the joint training to Kim Il, who leads North Korea’s wrestling delegation.
“Winning gold medals is important, but I believe having a good relationship between South Korea and North Korea is also important,” he said.