Athletes of 2 Koreas gather for Youth Games

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Aug 17, 2014 - 20:46
  • Updated : Aug 17, 2014 - 20:46
The flag bearer of South Korea’s delegation parades into the stadium during the opening ceremony of the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games on Saturday. (Xinhua-Yonhap)
BEIJING (Yonhap) ― Young athletes of South and North Korea gathered on Saturday for the second Youth Olympics in the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing, despite tensions sparked by a series of recent rocket launches by Pyongyang.

More than 3,700 athletes aged between 15 and 18 are scheduled to take part in the Nanjing Games, with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and Chinese President Xi Jinping attending the opening ceremony on Saturday evening.

South Korea sent 73 athletes to compete in 20 sports, Seoul officials said.

North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency reported earlier this week that Pyongyang would send six athletes in three sports, including weightlifting and wrestling.

At the first Youth Olympics held in Singapore four years ago, South Korea ranked third, after China and Russia.

Meanwhile, the state-run China Daily newspaper reported Saturday that three young athletes from West African nations have been banned from competing at the Nanjing Games because of the outbreak of Ebola in the region.

The World Health Organization said that the death toll from the epidemic rose to 1,145.