North Korean shooters in floods of tears after first gold of Games
Three North Korean shooters cried their eyes out on the podium after winning the country's first gold medal of the Asian Games in China on Thursday.
The trio saluted and gradually dissolved into floods of tears as the red, white and blue North Korean flag was hoisted in Hangzhou -- in contravention of a World Anti-Doping Agency edict.
It was North Korea's first gold of the Games and first in major international competition since the pandemic, having skipped the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 and then been barred from the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
Paek Ok Sim, Pang Myong Hyang and Ri Ji Ye triumphed in the 10m running target women's team competition, ahead of Kazakhstan and Indonesia.
Two more golds soon rolled in for North Korea, both from gymnast An Chang Ok, who similarly turned on the water works.
The mini gold rush took North Korea's overall tally in Hangzhou to 12 medals.
North Korea's flag was displayed at the opening ceremony and in medal ceremonies at the Games, despite supposedly being banned from doing so over doping violations.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) declared the country's national anti-doping body "non-compliant" in 2021 and slapped it with sanctions.
They included not being able to fly the North Korean flag at any regional, continental or world sports event, excluding the Olympics and Paralympics.
On Sunday, Olympic Council of Asia chief Raja Randhir Singh defended the organisation's decision to allow North Korea to fly its flag.
"We are in discussions with them (WADA) and North Korea has written to them as well explaining their position," said Singh, the OCA acting president.
"We are explaining from our side as well.
"At present, the North Korean flag is flying and we will look into it and see what the future says."