S.Korea hoping to put together a joint Women's water polo team with N.Korea for upcoming Aquatics Championship

Timothy Hale, April 10, 2019, 9:22 a.m.

The organizers of the upcoming swimming world championships in South Korea said Wednesday that they're hoping to put together a joint Korean team in women's water polo.

Gwangju, 330 kilometers south of Seoul, will host the 2019 FINA World Aquatics Championships from July 12 to 28. South Korea has already extended an invitation to North Korea. And with the draws for water polo having been completed in Croatia earlier this week, the organizing committee said it, the city of Gwangju and the central government are all trying to form a joint Korean squad in women's water polo.

"If a unified team is assembled, it will help ensure success of the world championships and will also deliver a message of reconciliation and peace to the rest of the world," the organizing committee said in a statement.

Since the beginning of last year, the Koreas have competed as one in a wide range of sports including women's hockey, table tennis, women's basketball, rowing, canoeing and men's handball. They will have joint teams in women's basketball, women's field hockey, judo and rowing during the qualifying events for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.

South Korea has never before participated in a world championship in water polo, men's or women's.

There will be 16 teams in the women's event, divided into four groups of four. South Korea was paired in Group B with Canada, Hungary and Russia. Russia and Canada finished third and fourth at the last FINA worlds in 2017.

The South Korean men's team is in Group A with Serbia, Montenegro and Greece. Serbia won the gold medal in 2015 and finished third in 2017, when it beat Greece in the bronze medal match.

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