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(LEAD) (Asiad) N. Korea grabs silver in women's team gymnastics

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2014-09-22
(LEAD) (Asiad) N Korea-gymnastics silver
(LEAD) (Asiad) N. Korea grabs silver in women's team gymnastics
(ATTN: ADDS athlete' comments in paras 3-4, photos)
By Park Sojung
INCHEON, Sept. 22 (Yonhap) -- North Korea won the silver medal in the women's team artistic gymnastics at the Incheon Asian Games on Monday.
North Korea's Hong Un-jong, Kim Un-hyang, Kang Yong-mi, Ri Un-ha and Kim So-yong combined for 214.650 points in the team final, which took place at the Namdong Gymnasium in this western port city. China placed first with 229.300 points and Japan took the bronze by a narrow margin of 0.300 points.
"I'm glad we were able to post good results in a country where we speak the same language and are the same people," said Kang with a big grin on her face. "The thought that our dear leader in Pyongyang would be watching us gave me strength."
When asked about her impression on South Koreans cheering for the North, she said curtly, "I appreciate it."



It was North Korea's first competition at an Asiad gymnastics meet since 2006. Its gymnastics team was banned from participating in the 2010 Asiad when one of its athletes, then 15 years old, was caught lying about her age. Hong Su-jong, a sister of Hong Un-jong who is also a gymnast, was found to have overreported her age by one year at the 2004 Olympics, as 16 is the legal age to compete.
At Monday's team final, North Korea made a strong comeback, with the younger Hong leading the field in the vault with the score of 15.350 points. The 25-year-old is a gold medal favorite at the upcoming individual vault final on Wednesday, since none of her Chinese rivals will be taking part.
China was solid across the board, finishing first in all four apparatus. The country had the top three gymnasts in the individual all-around qualification and the top five in uneven bars.
South Korea came in fourth with 208.725 points. The country hasn't medaled in the discipline since winning bronze at the 1994 Asian Games in Hiroshima.


sojungpark@yna.co.kr
(END)


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