Dragon boat paddlers from the two Koreas will not be able to form a joint team at the upcoming world championships in the United States because North Korean athletes haven't been granted visas, a report said Wednesday.
Citing officials at the International Canoe Federation, Radio Free Asia said the unified Korean team will not be a part of the ICF Dragon Boat World Championships in Gainesville, Georgia, starting on Sept. 13.
The Koreas assembled combined teams in men's and women's dragon boat racing at the 18th Asian Games in Indonesia last month, and won three medals, including a gold in the women's 500-meter event.
Ross Solly, ICF's media and communication manager, told RFA that following a meeting with canoe federations from both Koreas during the Asian Games, the ICF had to "reluctantly" decide to leave the joint team out of the competition.
Solly also said the ICF had also been in contact with the International Olympic Committee and relevant US authorities on the issue but said time wasn't on the ICF's side.
On the event's official website, the list of 13 participating countries doesn't include South Korea either. (Yonhap)