A plan to hold joint training sessions for archers from the two Koreas ahead of this year’s Asian Games south of the border has been scrapped, an official of the sport’s governing body in Seoul said Friday.
The Korea Archery Association said it has canceled an earlier plan to host North Korean archers in Incheon, which will stage the Asian Games from Sept. 19 to Oct. 4, for possible joint practices in early August.
“We haven’t heard from our North Korean counterparts regarding their training schedule or plans,” an official with the South Korean association said.
“While leaving the possibility open, we will have to go ahead with our own schedule.”
The South Korean archers have been training in Incheon since Monday. They are scheduled to depart for Taiwan on Wednesday for the second leg of the Asian Grand Prix that starts four days later.
On July 1, South Korean archery officials said the North Korean archers were supposed to arrive in Incheon by early August to train for about two weeks, and also said they wanted the South Korean archers to be prepared for possible joint training programs.
South Korea, one of the world’s premier archery powers with a record 19 Olympic gold medals, has long been secretive about its training sessions and hasn’t held joint practices with any country.
According to the archery body here, the North Koreans were supposed to be the beneficiaries of a joint program by the Asian Games organizers and the Olympic Council of Asia designed to support athletes from underdeveloped nations with their training.
Officials in Incheon said delays in talks on the North’s participation in the program kept the archers from the impoverished nation out of the equation.
The program, dubbed “Vision 2014,” is open to countries with GDP per capita below $10,000 or those with little chance of winning medals at the Asian Games. It will help 13 nations before the Asian Games, according to officials. (Yonhap)