Jakarta. The unified Korean contingent's hopes for another gold medal at the 2018 Asian Games were dashed when the women's basketball team lost 71-65 against China in the final at the Gelora Bung Karno Sports Complex in Jakarta on Saturday (01/09).
The Korean team has had historic run at this year's event, which saw it win gold in the women's 500-meter dragon boat race in Palembang, South Sumatra, on Aug. 26. The contingent also won two bronze medals in canoeing.
Team captain Lim Yung-hui of South Korea scored 24 of their 65 points on Saturday.
The women's basketball team consisted of nine South Korean and three North Korean players, who reportedly only started training together on Aug. 1. They also did not have the full squad until the semifinals earlier this week.
Despite the odds, their performance had been impressive and gradually improved within each game.
North Korea's Ro Suk-yong was one of the strongest players in the tournament, being a leading shooter and putting up an agile defense in all seven games.
Ro, Lim and South Korea's Park Hye-jin led the scoreboard with 17 points each during the semifinals.
The team's supporters, wearing white T-shirts adorned with a map of the Korean Peninsula in blue, have been consistently cheering up the games.
Their chants of "Korea!" to rhythmic claps and whacks of balloon sticks served as a constant reminder of this historic play. They never failed to fill the basketball hall with a spirit of unity.
Athletes from the two countries marched together under the unification flag at the 2018 Asian Games opening ceremony in Jakarta on Aug. 18.
The silver medal is the unified Korean team's first in ball sports at the international multisport event.