The Xiaoshan Sports Centre in Hangzhou hosted the women’s 55kg weightlifting competition at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games on Tuesday evening.
North Korea’s Kang Hyon-kyong, who won gold with a new world record, was asked by a reporter at the post-match press conference if she had expected such a performance, and she replied, “Does the reporter know what the traditions of the DPRK are?”
“The tradition of the DPRK, which has been passed down from generation to generation, is the tradition of victory,” she said.
He paused for a moment, choosing his words, before emphasising, “Our DPRK team always strives…(for) victory, today, tomorrow and forever.”
North Korea won gold on the first day of the weightlifting competition, with Ri Sung-gyong winning the women’s 49kg event in a world record, while Kang Hyon-kyong also won gold in a dominant performance.
Her compatriot Ri Su-yeon took silver in the 55kg category.
Kang’s performance stood out in comparison to the passive-aggressive attitude North Korean athletes have shown in interviews throughout the Hangzhou Asian Games.
It reflected a sense of confidence that North Korean weightlifting had made a remarkable return to international competition after a long absence.
“I want to send this honour to my parents and comrades back home,” Ri Su-yeon said, adding that although she did not win first place this time, she would train better.
It’s a testament to North Korean weightlifting’s unwavering top-flight capabilities after the country withdrew from international competition following the 2019 World Championships in Pattaya due to lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“For the past four years, we have been unable to participate in international competitions due to the corona pandemic, but whenever we have the opportunity to compete, all of our athletes strive to win more medals, which we have not been able to achieve so far, and we were able to achieve great results today,” a man who introduced himself as the ‘international department head’ of the relevant association said at the press conference when asked about the North Korean team’s capabilities.
Meanwhile, North Korea’s Sports Minister Kim Il Guk also presented the medals.
As Kang Hyon-kyong posed for a commemorative photo, she gestured to “present” the gold medal to Kim Il-guk, who declined. 파워볼게임