Athletes from Seoul and Pyeongyang are competing
as one at the world championship of handball. The joint squad’s campaign in Berlin was not
off to a great start, as they faced the home team Germany, a powerhouse of the game. But according to our Kan Hyeong-woo, it was
a memorable moment in the history of inter-Korean sports. With 13,500 fans in the sold-out arena in
Berlin, the unified Korean men’s handball team stepped onto the court for the opening
match against the number-one ranked Germany. It was the first time for the two Koreas to
compete as one team in handball on the international stage. The 20-man squad, including 16 South Korean
players and four North Korean players, put up a good fight against the heavy favorite
Germany,… but lost 30 to 19. The Korean team’s captain Jung Su-young managed
to score the opening goal of the match, but the Koreans never took the lead again against
the bigger and faster Germans. The home team closed out the first half with
a 9-to-4 run to make the score 17 to 10. At the start of the second half, picking up
where they left off, Germany overwhelmed the Korean players with four unanswered goals,
and for the rest of the match the inter-Korean team were behind by double digits. Seoul and Pyeongyang agreed to form the unified
men’s handball team in talks back in November. Ahead of the world championship, the joint
team began training together in Berlin on December 22nd. The unified Korean team is in Group A with
Germany, Russia, France, Serbia and Brazil,… and it will look to claim its first win when
it goes up against Russia on Saturday. Kan Hyeong-woo, Arirang News.