Weightlifting reassembles Asian athletes in Pyongyang

Budapest, Sept 9, 2013: The Asian Junior and Senior Cup & Interclub Championships will kick off on 12 September at the Ryugyong Jong Yu Indoor Stadium in Pyongyang, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. At a meeting held in March 2013 at the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) headquarters in Budapest, the IWF President Dr. Tamas Ajan received a delegation from DPR Korea in order to discuss the major sport political issues regarding the organization of this important international sport competition.

Due to the great success of the weightlifters from DPR Korea who won 3 Gold Medals and 1 Bronze at the London 2012 Olympic Games, the sport gained in popularity and receives great support to enhance its development in the country.

The IWF gave full support to the Federation in order to deliver a successful event and the government as well as the sport authorities done their utmost to provide excellent conditions.

This major Asian Event is organized under the supervision of the IWF in cooperation with the AWF. Respecting the IWF and AWF Constitutions, Pyongyang will welcome a South Korean delegation which includes 22 athletes as well as coaches and Weightlifting Federation Officials.

Furthermore among others, the tournament will field weightlifters representing Syria. This is the biggest international sport event recently organized in Pyongyang, DPR Korea.

“According to South Korea’s Ministry of Unification, which handles inter-Korean affairs for the South, 41 South Korean nationals will head to Pyongyang next Tuesday to participate in the Asian Junior and Senior Cup & Interclub Championships.

The Ministry agreed to approve the trip because North Korea would allow South Korea’s national anthem to be played and its flag displayed if an athlete wins a gold medal — the first time this will ever happen in Pyongyang, according to the Ministry.”

This important diplomatic move shows the unifying power of sports.

Weightlifting now has a role to play in opening borders, easing tensions, bringing together nations and athletes despite political differences. This falls perfectly in line with the IWF’s basic principles: stand for friendship in the true Olympic Spirit.

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