North Korean gymnast Kim Un Hyang snatched up a gold medal at
the Incheon Asian Games for her stunning performance on the balance beam,
putting the country in fifth place with its six gold medals.
Kim outperformed Vietnam’s Thi Ha Thanh Phan in Thursday’s
finals by 0.267 points, scoring 14.700 points with 6.300 for difficulty and
8.400 for execution.
This gold is ever more precious, as it comes after the North
Korean gymnast missed medal grabs in the 2006 Doha Asian Games, finishing
fourth on the floor and sixth on the balance beam.
Gymnastics has been one of the North’s strongest fields,
following weightlifting during these Games, delivering three medals in total:
one gold in vault, one in balance beam, and a team silver.
After winning her medal, Kim was asked what the secret to
the North’s strong performance in Incheon is. “In my country [North Korea]
there is currently an unparalleled boom in sports, which can be found nowhere
in the world,” she replied, shedding light on Kim Jong Eun’s aggressive push to
invest in sports.
Showing no difference from other North Korean athletes, when
asked how she felt about winning a gold, the gymnast referenced to the North’s
Kim Jong Eun numerous times.
“Our Marshal [Kim Jong Eun] said only true athletes are able
to win gold medals and winning in sports is like winning a war,” she said.
The gymnast also said, “I am so thrilled to know that the
Marshal is watching this game,” adding with tears to her eyes, “Having our flag
raised is a way of returning the love and kindness from our Marshal. I want to
give him more glory and joy.”