OCA Press Release: OCA proud of unified Korea at 18th Asian Games
Jakarta, Indonesia, August 16, 2018: The Olympic Council of Asia has praised the cooperation and unity between North Korea and South Korea following the first appearance of the unified Korea women’s basketball team at the 18th Asian Games.
Playing under the symbol “COR” and the unification flag of the blue outline of the Korean peninsula on a white background, the joint team beat host country Indonesia 108-40 at the Basket Hall in the Gelora Bung Karno sports complex on Wednesday evening.
“We are very proud and happy that the Asian Games can contribute to the peace process on the Korean peninsula,” said the OCA’s Director General, Mr Husain Al Musallam.
“The unified Korea team made history by competing together for the first time at the Asian Games and we are looking forward to seeing the other teams in action in the coming days.”
At an OCA-brokered meeting in Jakarta on June 28, the National Olympic Committees of DPR Korea and the Republic of Korea agreed to field a unified team in three sports at the 18th Asian Games: women’s basketball, rowing and dragon boat, which is a discipline of canoeing. Rowing and dragon boat racing will take place in the co-host city of Palembang, capital of South Sumatra province.
“The women’s basketball game proved the power of sport to unite people,” added Mr Al Musallam.
“It was not only the players from North Korea and South Korea who were together, but also the officials and the supporters. To see the Presidents of the two National Olympic Committees sitting alongside each other in the VIP area was a very significant moment.
“The OCA will do everything to support and encourage further cooperation between the two Koreas in the hopes of a lasting peace process for all the people on the Korean peninsula.”
The 12-strong unified Korea squad featured three players from the North, including the game’s top-scorer, Ro Suk Yong with 22 points. Kim Hye Yon, also from Pyongyang, added 14 points in a convincing Group X victory over Indonesia.
The players, who have been training together since the beginning of August, were supported by a large group of fans from both North and South Korea who wore white T-shirts and waved the unification flag.
The paper flags read “Asian Games Jakarta-Palembang 2018 - One Dream, One Corea” – and, on Wednesday evening, that dream came a little closer thanks to this joint cooperation.
The two Koreas will march together at the Opening Ceremony of the 18th Asian Games at the GBK Main Stadium on Saturday, August 18, with 100 delegates each from the two NOCs.
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