By Kim Young Shin
Photos = Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism
South and North Korean rowers began joint training sessions for the upcoming Asian Games 2018 Jakarta-Palembang.
Some 30 North Korean athletes flew to Korea on July 29 and began training the following day alongside 27 South Korean athletes at the Cheongju Tangeum Lake International Rowing Center in Chungju, Chungcheongbuk-do Province.
A total of 24 athletes will be chosen for the joint canoe teams. For the men’s and women’s dragon boat racing teams, a canoeing discipline, six from the South and another six from the North will be on each of the men’s and women’s team.
For rowing, there will be combined teams in lightweight men’s four, lightweight men’s eight and lightweight women’s double sculls.
“Just as the joint women’s ice hockey team at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, and the joint table tennis team touched the hearts of the world, I expect you to cooperate in unison for the Asian Games and to move our hearts,” said Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Do Jonghwan who visited the rowing center on July 31. “The rowing and canoeing events will show the world that we are on the same boat.”
“We are rowing the boat together,” answered Han Ho Chol, chief North Korean delegate and the secretary general of the North Korean Olympic committee. “We can do this, so let’s all show support.”
The Asian Games will be held from Aug. 13 to Sept. 2 in Indonesia. The rowing and canoeing athletes will have two sessions of joint training every day at the Cheongju Tangeum Lake International Rowing Center before they head to Jakarta.