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South Korean and North Korean wrestlers train together at Jakarta International Expo for the 18th Asian Games in August. Yonhap

Olympic Games News

Two Koreas discuss joint wrestling team for Tokyo 2020

Date : 22 Oct 2018

Two Koreas discuss joint wrestling team for Tokyo 2020

Seoul, Korea, October 22, 2018: South and North Korea are considering forming a joint wrestling team at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, Seoul's wrestling governing body said on Saturday, October 20.

The Korea Wrestling Federation (KWF) said its competition director, Lee Joong-sub, and the North Korean wrestling body secretary general, Kim Il, met on Thursday in Budapest, where the 2018 World Wrestling Championships are being held.

The two officials exchanged opinions on forming a joint wrestling team at Tokyo 2020, reports the Yonhap News Agency.

"Although it's not confirmed that we're going to have a joint team, both sides have exchanged their ideas in a good atmosphere," a KWF official said. "The two Koreas also touched on holding joint training in Seoul and Pyongyang."

According to the KWF, United World Wrestling President Nenad Lalovic also promised his support for the joint Korean team at the Olympics.

The two Koreas previously trained together during the 18th Asian Games in Indonesia this summer, but didn't compete as one team.

Expectations are high for the South and the North to have many joint teams at the next Olympics. Following the third inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang in September, the two Koreas announced in their joint declaration that they would seek ways to compete together in international sports competitions.

The KWF said it would have further discussions with North Korea on forming the joint wrestling team.

"South Korea is better in Greco-Roman wrestling than North Korea, but North Korea is stronger in freestyle wrestling," a KWF official said. "We believe that forming joint teams will help both sides upgrade their competitiveness.

"Since the UWW President vowed support, we expect to have a positive result," the KWF official said.

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