The South Korean delegation for the 18th Asian Games officially paraded into the athletes' village in Jakarta at a welcome event on Thursday.
Led by chef de mission Kim Seong-jo, 20 South Korean athletes and officials attended the team welcome ceremony at the athletes' village in Kemayoran, central Jakarta, along with delegations from Japan, Nepal, Hong Kong and the Maldives. Greeted by Yuni Kartika, the mayor of the village, they also received a gift of appreciation at the event.
So far, more than 350 South Korean athletes have checked into the village in Jakarta, while 150 are staying in their living quarters in Palembang, the co-host city located in the South Sumatra region.
The main batch of the South Korean delegation arrived in Indonesia on Wednesday, with an eye to maintaining the country's edge over Japan in the continental competition.
South Korea has set out to win at least 65 gold medals to finish in second place for the sixth consecutive Asian Games. With China once again expected to top the medals table, South Korea is hoping it can fend off Japan for the runner-up spot in the medal race.
"Our athletes trained a lot, so we expect good results from them," Kim said. "I hope they can compete with confidence and enjoy their game."
For this year's Asian Games, South Korea will be represented in 39 sports by 1,044 athletes and officials. The figure includes representatives from North Korea. The Koreas will field unified teams in women's basketball, dragon boat racing in canoeing and three events in rowing.
Korea Sport & Olympic Committee chief Lee Kee-heung said the joint Korean teams will display strong performances at the Asian Games.
"I think that the joint teams can also collect medals," he said. "We'll expand sports exchanges between the two Koreas and will have more discussions on expanding the unified teams in the future."
Earlier Thursday, the North Korean delegation had its welcome ceremony at the village, with 20 athletes and officials attending the event. According to the organizers, North Korea is represented by 168 athletes. (Yonhap)