Are Koreans bad at diving? — Young Pioneer Tours

    we’ve all heard of the tom daleys and michael phelps of this world, but we rarely hear of the likes of kim kuk-hyang and woo ha-ram. is there any reason for this? well yes, probably because they are clearly average at water sports. so let’s take a look at whether koreans are bad at diving.

    history of diving in korea

    • A fisherman by Wonsan beach
    • North Koreans bad at diving in Wonsan

    diving is not the first sport you think of when you think of korea. soccer and baseball lead in popularity among the locals, however, swimming is not far behind. Those interested in swimming will also tend to dabble a bit in diving, which is why Korea has had some decent talent over the years. Despite the relative popularity of water sports in Korea, Koreans rarely win diving medals at international events.

    Reading: Are koreans bad at diving

    The first time a Korean qualified for the Olympics was at the 1960 Games in Rome. Lee Pil-jung was a Seoul-born jumper who competed in the 10m platform event. It didn’t go as planned for him, he ended up bottoming out of 28 competitors and also lost by a considerable margin! Since then, South Korean divers have participated in every Olympic Games, but none have come close to a podium.

    most of south korea’s success is due to the asian games. obviously a much lower competition than the olympic games due to the quality of the opposition. South Korea has racked up some medals at these games. woo ha-ram being the most successful of the group in recent times. The 22-year-old collected four medals on home soil at the 2014 Games in Incheon, while he won a further four medals at the 2018 edition in Indonesia. Other than that, it’s not a great album overall, is it?

    however, the same cannot be said for divers from the north.

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    north korea first participated in diving events at the 1992 olympic games in barcelona. they sent four women to compete in the trampoline and platform events. kim chun-ok was the pick of the bunch this time, as she managed to earn a place in the second qualifying round of the platform event, before being eliminated by much stronger competitors from usa. USA, China and Great Britain. In subsequent years, North Korea began sending larger diving teams to the Olympics, but as with the southern teams, the results were not very good.

    has korean been so bad lately?

    Well, it’s safe to say that South Korean divers have continued to be terrible at the Olympics. the best result of one of his divers was in 2016, where woo ha-ram finished a respectable 11th in the elite final rounds, having qualified through two qualifying rounds to make it that far. In addition to this, Kim Su-ji recently made history by becoming the first female jumper from South Korea to win a medal at the world championships.

    but apart from that? any! South Korean divers routinely struggle to even qualify for the later rounds of competitions, resulting in absolutely no chance of seeing a podium finish.

    so overall things might look a little better for the future with woo ha-ram’s performances but as it is south korea doesn’t even come close to competing at the elite level of diving . so it’s safe to assume that South Koreans are definitely bad at diving!

    North Korean divers have done much better than their southern neighbors at the Olympics. North Korea has achieved consistent top-ten finishes and has even won a bronze medal, albeit at the 2010 Junior Olympics. Their most recent performance at the 2016 Olympics was especially fruitful for the North Koreans. kim un-hyang took a very good 7th place overall in the 10m platform, while pyongyang native duo kim kuk-hyang and kim mi-rae painfully missed out on a podium finish in the synchronized platform, thus securing the dprk and korea as a whole, the best olympic result in history.

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    Away from the Olympics, in 2015, Kim Kuk-hyang became the first Korean to win a gold medal at the world championships. Competing in the 10m platform, Kim Kuk-Hyang defeated opposition from China and Malaysia to take first place on the podium. He later won another gold medal in the same event at the 2017 World University Championships in Taiwan. Kim Mi-rae and Kim Un-hyang also won several medals in the same competitions.

    To find out why North Koreans can be so much better than their counterparts, we took YouTube star Simon Wilson to Mansu Water Park in Pyongyang to try out the diving facilities for himself. you can see the video of it here;

    So Koreans are bad at diving?

    In general, you would have to say yes. Zero podium finishes at the Olympics and only a handful of decent results in minor competitions make the Koreans a pretty bad bunch of divers. although there might be a ray of hope in the future. at the upcoming olympic games, south korea and north korea will come together and compete as a united korea for the first time. Hopefully this can be a win-win partnership, and who knows, we could see the next Tom Daley hailing from Korea!

    Do you want to experience some diving in North Korea for yourself? join us on our liberation day & summer tour where you will have the opportunity to visit the water park, as well as the famous diving platforms in the waters of wonsan.

    You can secure your spot now with no deposit, or you can take advantage of our Young Pioneers membership program from as little as €60.

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