Judo is set to unite the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) under one flag – for the first time in a summer sport – as a unified team will make history by competing at the East Asian Championships in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia this weekend.
IJF President Marius Vizer held a joint meeting with Mr Pak Hak Yong, DPRK Judo General Secretary and Mr Cho Yong Chul, Korean Judo Association Vice President – on the occasion of the Hohhot Grand Prix in May – to discuss a unified team being formed for the World Judo Championships 2018 in Baku, Azerbaijan, this September.
IJF President Marius Vizer with Mr Pak Hak Yong, DPRK Judo GS (right) and Mr Cho Yong Chul, KOR Judo VP (left)
These talks paved the way for the two neighbours to agree to link up this weekend and negotiations for both sides to join up in Baku are still on track.
The East Asian Championships organising committee met in the State House on Wednesday to finalise their plans for the event and revealed that over 200 judoka will compete and announced that ROK and the DPRK will unite under the same flag for the men’s and women’s team events on Sunday (five judoka per team).
The Unified Korean flag will be appear on the judo suits of the joint team on Sunday
The Unified Korean team will compete alongside China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Japan and Mongolia and will use Arirang, a Korean folk song, as their anthem. Korea’s unified flag will adorn the judogi of their athletes.
Mr. Battulga Khaltmaa, President of the Republic of Mongolia and of the Mongolian Judo Association, will open the competition on Saturday.