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Joint Korean team talks stalled, S. Korea to enter Olympic hockey qualifiers alone

All News 10:53 May 23, 2019

SEOUL, May 23 (Yonhap) -- With no sign of progress on joint Korean team talks, South Korea will enter an Olympic women's field hockey qualifying event alone.

The deadline to submit rosters for the International Hockey Federation (FIH) Women's Hockey Series Finals in Ireland fell on Thursday. The competition runs from June 8 to 16, and South Korea will be up against the Czech Republic, France, Ireland, Malaysia, Scotland, Singapore and Ukraine. Only the top two from that group will advance to the final qualifying tournament for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

In this file photo from Aug. 21, 2018, South Korean players (in white) celebrate a goal against Indonesia during a women's field hockey preliminary game at the 18th Asian Games at GBK Hockey Field in Jakarta. (Yonhap)

In February, South Korea and North Korea agreed to field joint teams in qualifying stages for women's field hockey, women's basketball, judo and rowing.

But North Korea hasn't responded to South Korean proposals for joint training ahead of the Women's Hockey Series Finals. Talks on sports and other inter-Korean exchanges have come to a halt amid fresh tensions on the Korean Peninsula in light of Pyongyang's recent missile launches.

The South Korean roster was set Wednesday, and the team is scheduled to travel to Ireland next Wednesday.

South Korea is No. 11 in the FIH rankings, but North Korea, which hasn't competed internationally in recent years, isn't among the 35 nations ranked by the FIH.

South Korea won silver medals at the 1988 and 1996 Olympics and has collected five gold medals and three silver medals in its 10 Asian Games appearances dating back to 1982.

In this file photo from Aug. 31, 2018, Choi Su-ji of South Korea (2nd from L) tries to stop a Chinese player during the teams' bronze medal game at the 18th Asian Games at GBK Hockey Field in Jakarta. (Yonhap)


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