Historic first for North and South Korea as they win joint medal

A combined Koreas crew earned a historic bronze medal at the Asian Games by finishing third in the 200-metre dragon boat final behind China and games host Indonesia.

It was the first time a combined team from North Korea and South Korea has won a medal at a major multi-sport international event.

It was awarded to Korea — the name given to the combined teams the countries entered in rowing, canoeing and women’s basketball — and not to North or South Korea.

A group of athletes from North Korea and South Korea paraded in the opening ceremony last weekend behind the “unification” flag which features the outline of the peninsula in blue on a white background.

It took another seven days for any of the combined teams to get on the medals standings, by which time South Korea had 23 gold medals to sit in third spot and North Korea had nine gold medals and was in sixth position overall.

The joint crew featured seven South Koreans and five North Koreans and finished in 56.851 seconds at the Jakabaring Rowing and Canoeing Regatta Course in the co-host city of Palembang.

The combined Koreas basketball team is a gold-medal chance and has progressed to the quarterfinals of the women’s tournament.

- Press Association

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