Gwangju invites N.Korea to aquatic worlds

By Lu Wenao Source:Global Times Published: 2019/6/2 19:18:40

Photo: Lu Wenao/GT

The mayor of South Korean city Gwangju said he hopes North Korea could join the world aquatics championships later this year, as the city will host the FINA worlds in July.

"We are working in every way to invite the North Korean delegation to participate in the FINA World Championships," Gwangju mayor Lee Yong-sup told Chinese reporters, adding North Korea has not informed the organizing committee whether they will send a delegation to Gwangju.

"North Korea's presence is crucial for the success of this event as the motto of the competition is 'Dive into Peace,' we would like to emphasize this message to the world," Lee said. 

As June 12 marks the deadline of the registration for the world aquatics championships, it remains to be seen if North Korea is going to miss the ­deadline as it did for the Pyeongchang Olympics. 

Though it missed the ­registration deadline for the 2018 Winter Games, the ultimate participation of North Korean athletes at the 2018 Olympics opened the national reconciliation process and the path toward peace on the peninsula. 

It also consequently led to the inter-Korean summit and the summit meeting between North Korea and the US. 

Forty-three percent of the qualification in aquatics for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games are available in the upcoming FINA World Championships, Lee said, noting "If both teams unify once again, it will open opportunities for us to participate in all events as the host nation."

The 18th FINA World Championships, to be held from July 12 to 28, will be attended by athletes from over 190 nations and regions. 

It will display 76 medal events in the six aquatic disciplines - swimming, water polo, diving, open water swimming, artistic swimming and high diving.

Gwangju hosted the 2015 Summer Universiade, with the venues for the aquatics events in 2015 will be used for the 2019 FINA worlds.

The venues of the competition include the Nambu University Municipal Aquatic Centre, for swimming and diving, a facility that will have a 10,500-spectator capacity. Adjacent to this complex, the Nambu University football field will be transformed into a water polo venue. 

Artistic swimming will be held in the Yeomju Gymnasium, normally a basketball arena that will incorporate two temporary pools for the needs of the competition. 

The Chosun University soccer field will host the high dive event, while open water action will take place at the Yeosu Expo Ocean Park, located 130 kilometers away from Gwangju. 


blog comments powered by Disqus