N. Korea to send 191 athletes to Hangzhou Asian Games: organizers

North Korea will send 191 athletes in 18 sports at the upcoming Asian Games in China, data showed Wednesday.

Organizers of the Hangzhou Asian Games launched their media information website “INFO” on Wednesday, 10 days before the opening ceremony of the competition. According to the list of entries by each participating nation, North Korea has registered 191 athletes for the Sept. 23-Oct. 8 event.

They will compete in sports such as archery, artistic swimming, basketball, dragon boat, football, table tennis, volleyball and weightlifting.

This was the first international multisport competition for North Korea since the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia. North Korea skipped the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, citing concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, and was banned by the International Olympic Committee from competing in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

The ban was lifted at the end of 2022. If the Hangzhou Asian Games had taken place on schedule last fall, North Korea would not have been eligible. However, Hangzhou postponed the competition by one year due to the pandemic, and North Korea will be allowed to participate this fall.

At the 2018 Asiad, South Korea and North Korea marched together under one flag at the opening ceremony, and assembled joint teams in women’s basketball, rowing and canoeing. They won a gold and two bronze medals in dragon boat, a canoeing discipline, and grabbed silver in women’s basketball behind China.

North Korea alone won 12 gold, 12 silver and 13 bronze medals to finish 10th in the medal table in 2018. It had 167 athletes competing in 17 sports then.

Source: Yonhap News Agency