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North Korea poised to join top 10 in Incheon Asiad

Posted October. 01, 2014 05:33,   


In the two previous Asian Games events, North Korea had failed to enter top 10. This year in Incheon, however, it is displaying a more aggressive posture.

As of Tuesday, North Korea stood at sixth place with eight gold medals, eight silvers and 10 bronzes. After having ranked ninth at the 2002 Busan Asian Games, the North is poised to join top 10 for the first time in 12 years. Already, North Korea has topped performance seen in the 2006 Doha Asiad and in the 2010 Guangzhou Asiad when it had won six gold medals.

In Incheon Asian Games, among others, the North won four gold medals in weightlifting, two in apparatus gymnastics and each in wrestling and shooting. Kim Eun Kook made three fresh world records in 62 kilogram weightlifting, gaining spotlight with major Asian media outlets.

North Korea is expected to additionally win gold in woman`s football and wrestling, which could allow the country to pick up more than 10 gold medals in total in Incheon for the first time in 24 years. It had earned 12 golds in the 1990 Beijing Asian Games.

After having underperformed in international sports stages for a long time, North Korea is finally showing a rising tendency thanks to concentrated support for the sports sector by its new leader Kim Jong Un. Determined to make the country a sports powerhouse, Kim has shown high interest in sports and has expanded investment and support in training the national teams.

North Korean athletes came to Incheon through the direct West line that takes just one hour, thus avoiding the possible decline in physical condition. While previously the whole delegation went to venues together, this year the athletes arrived Incheon in five successions to support physical competency. A source from a South Korean delegation said, "North Korean athletes are showing great appetite in the athletes` village cafeteria. This means that food suits their taste, which in turn has boosted their athletic performance." In short, North Korea is also enjoying the home advantage in Incheon.