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North, South Field Joint Ping-Pong Team

Posted November. 03, 2005 07:19,   


At the soccer field of Macao University of Science and Technology where the Fourth East Asian Games’ preliminary match between North Korea and Macao was held on Tuesday night.

A South Korean woman was waiting for a North Korean elderly man. She already spent almost an hour, checking everywhere, even the VIP rooms.

Her name is Lee Elisa (51), the first female head of the Taereung Training Center, who was also referred to as a “ping-pong queen” when she was a player. Then, after quite a long time passed, North Korea’s Angol Sports Village head Jang Tae Sam (62), along with five delegation members, appeared. They just arrived after they agreed to make a joint team of two Koreas. As soon as they appeared, Lee, with a big smile, rushed to them and grabbed their hands, saying that she hopes that not only ping-pong players but also all players of the two Koreas will create more chances to help each other.

Lee suggested to Jang that he visit the Taereung Training Center later. Jang asked her about how South Korean ping-pong players have been doing, creating a friendly mood.

However, the mood changed into a closed meeting after Jang wanted to have a meeting in a VIP room in order to avoid reporters. Lee, who seemed to notice the North’s attention, didn’t make any comments after the 30-minute meeting was over. “Our relationship is already close enough not to release the details of conversation between us,” Lee said.

Instead, Lee said that in the case of ping-pong, generally male players from South Korea are stronger, while female players from North Korea are stronger. “A joint team could produce greater synergy,” said Lee, giving hints that they had talked about the possibility of making a joint team.