Hong Un Jong is North Korea’s sole WAG competitor at this years World Championships.
Born in 1989, 24 year old Hong Un Jong is well known in the sport of gymnastics. She is the Beijing 2008 Olympic Gold medallist on Vault. She began her gymnastics career in 1996, making the National team in 2006 which was also he first international competition.
She competed in her first World Championships in 2006 placing 36th in AA qualification. At the 2007 World Championships she failed to qualify for the AA final. She tied with Spain’s Lenika De Simone for a score of 56.775 but due to tie breaking rules was forced to become first reserve. Despite this, it was not all bad. She qualified through to the Vault final and placed fourth in the final.
She competed in her first and only Olympic Games to date in 2008. Here she took gold on Vault, denying home favourite Cheng Fei of gold. Cheng settled for bronze and Germany’s Oksana Chusovitina took silver.
At her third World Championships in 2009, she qualified in first place to the Vault final, only to rank 5th in the final.
Following North Korea’s 2 year ban from international competition due to age falsification claims in October/ November 2010, she was unable to compete at the 2011 World Championships to qualify to the London 2012 Games to defend her title. It was in fact her own sister who was at the centre of the age falsification matter, Hong Su Jong. The 5th of October was the date set when North Korea could return to International competition.
Little to nothing was heard of North Korea during their two year ban. One of the first results we know of Un Jong from 2012 is that she took silver on Vault at the Asian Games, the team also won silver.
It was said back in 2008 that Un Jong was in fact able to perform a triple twist on Vault. We saw Un Jong earlier this year at the Summer University Games. Here she tied for gold on Vault with Russia’s Ksenia Afanseyva.
With Hong’s presence back on the International stage, we could be set for an extremely interesting World Vault final.