Lim Woo-geun eager to join unified team for last Games

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Lim Woo-geun eager to join unified team for last Games

For this year’s Asian Para Games, Lim Woo-geun is looking forward to more than just winning a gold medal. The 31-year-old is eager to compete with North Koreans on a unified team.

“I have yet to meet North Korean athletes, but when I heard the words ‘unified Korean team,’ it gave me goosebumps,” Lim said after training in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Wednesday. “Regardless of the result, it will be nice just competing with them.”

For the first time ever in para sports history, South and North Korea will send joint teams to an international competition for disabled athletes. The rosters for the joint teams have yet to be announced.

Lim is a star of South Korean para swimming. He won a gold medal at the 2012 London Paralympics and a silver medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Paralympics in the men’s 100-meter breaststroke SB5 event.

“If I can compete as a member of the joint Korean team, it will be a glorious moment for my career after the Paralympics,” Lim said.

Lim, who has impairment in his lower limbs due to brain damage, is looking for his third straight Asian Para Games gold medal in the 100-meter breaststroke SB5 event. He took gold medals at Guangzhou 2010 and Incheon 2014.

“I’m thinking that this could be my last Games, so I’ll do my best,” he said.

However, there is one variable that could affect Lim’s plan. The organizers have yet to confirm whether the SB5 and SB6 categories of the men’s 100-meter breaststroke should be staged as one event.

The third Asian Para Games will start tomorrow in Jakarta.

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