The unified Korean women's dragon boat team claimed 500m glory in Indonesia

Unified Korea won its first title at a multisport event on Sunday as the women's dragon boat team clinched Asian Games glory in Indonesia.

The 16-strong crew edged out China for gold in the 500 metres with Thailand taking bronze on Jakabaring Lake.

Unified Korea (top) wins the Asian Games 500m women's dragon boat race from China and Thailand
Unified Korea (top) wins the Asian Games 500m women's dragon boat race from China and ThailandUnified Korea (top) wins the Asian Games 500m women's dragon boat race from China and Thailand

The popular folk song Arirang was played at the victory ceremony as the Korean Unification Flag was hoisted to the top of the pole.

UNITY LEADS TO VICTORY

PyeongChang 2018 set the ball rolling for sporting cooperation with athletes from North Korea and South Korea marching together at the opening ceremony.

And the unified women's ice hockey team laid the platform for athletes from the two Koreas competing together at an Asian Games for the first time.

The women's basketball team started their campaign before the Opening Ceremony and have made it through to Thursday's semi-finals where they will face Chinese Taipel.

But the women's dragon boat team won unified Korea's first medal on Saturday with bronze in the 200 metres behind China.

And 24 hours later, they came back to take a famous win in the longer event.

THE START OF SOMETHING SPECIAL

The success was as unexpected as it was popular with the athletes only starting training together a month ago.

The unified Korean women's dragon boat team pose with their Asian Games gold medals after winning the 500m
The unified Korean women's dragon boat team pose with their Asian Games gold medals after winning the 500mThe unified Korean women's dragon boat team pose with their Asian Games gold medals after winning the 500m

Crew member Jang Hyun-jung said, "I'm surprised, but we trained so hard and this is the result of that training and we deserve it.

"I'm very happy, it's very emotional. Yesterday was the bronze, today is the gold and that’s made me even more emotional than before."

And Jang hopes the combined team will continue racing in the future.

"I think we can get together again as a unified team. It's something we all want." - Jang Hyun-jung

Even South Korean President Moon Jae-in praised the athletes, posting on social media that he was "very proud" of the team and that "young athletes came together to give joy to the entire Korean Peninsula."

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