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Torch Landed in Busan

Posted September. 27, 2002 23:02,   


On September 27, 2002, in addition to the Chinese and Japanese delegations entering the Athletes’ Village, North Korea’s second delegation of 152 athletes, led by Park Myong-chul who is a North Korean official in charge of all athletic activities in North and also chairs North Korea’s Olympics Committee, arrived at Kimhae Airport at around 11:40 a.m. They came down to South flying over the East Sea onboard a charted plane of Korea Airline.

The second delegation consists of athletes of 10 different games such as women’s soccer team where one of North Korea’s standard bearer Lee Jung-hee (27 Pyongyang City) belongs, handball team, boxers, heavy weight lifters, canoe players, to name just a few. Standing out among the athletes who arrived this time are the four medalists at the 2000 Sydney Olympics: Lee Sung-hee (female, weight lifting) who won the silver medal Kang Young-kyun (Bronze medal) in wrestling, Kim Eun-chul (Bronze medal) in boxing, and Choi Ok-shil ranked 4th in women’s archery.

Once out of the arrival area, Committee Chairman Park, without any press conference and arrival statement, rode in the same car with his counterpart of South Lee Yon-taek and headed for the Athletes’ Village. But the other 6 staff members and marathoner of North Korea such as Chang Woong IOC member, Ham Bong-shil, Kim Chang-ok and Hwang Il-suk will come to Busan via different route at a later time.

Also arrived at Busan on this day was the torch. Two torches were originally lighted up at Mt. Baekdoo and Mt. Hanra on Sep. 5th, and combined at the Panmoonjum. Then it was relayed through 15 cities around the country, and landed, after the 4,138.4 km of journey, at Kimhae Airport and was moved into Busan at around 4:20 p.m.

In the meanwhile, the Japanese delegation, which is likely to compete with us for the second place in the Asian Games, had a ceremony at 10 a.m. at Flag Plaza in Athletes’ Village, located in Banyeo Dong, Haewoondae Gu. On hand at the ceremony were Teruchi, Vice-chairman of JOC, and some 1,000 athletes. Following Japan, China and Bahrain also held the ceremony. Korean athletes held the ceremony at around 3 p.m. and drummed up their spirits.