5th October 2012 – the return of North Korea


Back in 2010, the North Korea Gymnastics Federation were found guilty of age falsification by the FIG.  Gymnast Hong Su Jong came under investigastion for age falsification in October of 2010 after several discrepancies surfaced over her reported year of birth and age eligibility for senior competition.

After submitting three different dates of births for competition entries the FIG became suspicious, inititally issuing a 30 day ban from National and International competitions on October 6th 2010. This resulted in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (PRK) missing  the 2010 World Championships in Rotterdam. PRK then had the chance to appeal this ruling,  they did so, filing for an appeal on October 11th 2010.  The appeal was then dismissed by the FIG on the grounds that the arguments and explanations provided did not justify a reconsideration of the provisional decision made by the President of the FIG Disciplinary Commission. The intitial 30 day ban was still in place.

On November 5th 2010, the FIG issued a two year ban to the PRK from any International competition, from October 6th 2010 to October 5th 2012, thus missing the 2012 London Olympic Games. Hong Su Jong was also banned from competing Nationally or Internationally with the federation fined 20,000 CHF.

Little to nothing has been heard from PRK during this time period. It does beg the question, what do they have in the bag 2 years on? Without a World Championships this year, it’s unlikely that we will see PRK in international competition before the end of 2012. In the past, Korea have shown innovative skills such as the Pak Salto, named after Gyong Sil Pak who had the move verified into the Code of Points after her. You can see her perform it in the video below:

There was also Kim Gwang Suk after whom the “Counter Kim” bar release move was named – a Tkatchev-front flip toward the high bar. She  was the 1991 Bars World Champion , winning the event with a perfect 10.0 score, the routine included the “Counter Kim”.  Coincidentally, her 10.0 score on bars was the last perfect score ever awarded in a Gymnastics World Championships.

I’m excited to see the return of North Korea and hope that the two year ban has provided a firm lesson to them and that they have developed some new stars of the future.

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