By Neha Aggarwal
It was a dramatic Saturday afternoon in Paris. Kim Hyok Bong and Kim Jong of DPR Korea stood on the podium with their national flag raised high in front of the entire crowd and rather, the entire world. As they raised their hands for a salut to their flag, tears of joy, pride and honor, rolled down their eyes. For the very first time in the history of table tennis, DPR Korea won the Mixed Doubles title at the World Championships.
Kim Hyok Bong and Kim Jong beat Korea’s Lee Sangsu and Park Youngsook in six games to capture the title (11-6, 11-8, 11-3, 6-11, 8-11, 11-7).
With this they not only broke China’s 11 year dominant streak in the Mixed Doubles event, but also won DPR Korea’s only third gold medal in the World Championships encompassing all events.
The last time DPR Korea won a gold at the World Championship was in 1977 at Birmingham when Pak Yung Sun won the Women’s Singles title. She also wont the same title at the 1975 World Championships!
The people of DPR Korea could not have been proud enough, the pair returned home to a hero’s welcome in Pyongyang as they marched around the city on a convertible car and offered flowers to the statues of country’s former leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il on Mansudae Hill in Pyongyang.
As we now all move in the much awaited Liebherr 2017 World Championships to be held in the city of Düsseldorf from 29th May- 5th June 2017, we cannot wait to see more of such historic moments that shape the rich history of our sport.