World Champion Has Her Eye On Olympic Gold


The 2019 World Wrestling Championships took place in Kazakhstan between Sep 14 and 22, with some 980 athletes from over 100 countries and regions in attendance.

Pak Yong Mi from the DPRK claimed the women’s 53kg title by overpowering all her opponents.

She beat Moldovan and Polish rivals 10-0 respectively in the preliminary, a Cuban 6-0 in the quarterfinal, and a Chinese 12-0 in the semifinal.

In the final, she clashed with the Japanese rival who had won the women’s 55kg event last year.

Though she lost one point first, Pak scored four points with rear lock and succeeded in trundle by holding body four times in succession to trounce her opponent with a big margin of 12-1.

She became the first women’s world wrestling champion in the DPRK.

Hailing from Pyongyang, she had a special taste for fine art and dedicated herself to painting in her childhood.

One day she dropped in at the Pyongyang Sports Club to meet her mother who worked there, and happened to see little girls in her age group practicing wrestling.

“Please allow me to learn wrestling, mom. I will bag a gold medal without fail,” she asked her mother at that time.

“At that time I thought it was a passing fancy of innocent girl and never dreamt that she would become a world champion like today,” Pak’s mother recalled.

So, she took up the sport at the age of 14 and she honed her skills one by one as she learned wrestling rudiments at the Pyongyang Sports Club.

Her painstaking efforts bore fruit: A year later she continued to emerge victorious in different tournaments, carving a niche for herself on the domestic front.

She has defended her title in the senior local women’s tournaments since 2010, and held the Asian titles by winning the 48kg and 53kg categories at the 2013 and 2018 Asian Wrestling Championships.

“Nobody has ever won all matches with technical superiority in the world championships. The success owes much to Pak’s painstaking efforts. She has always been diligent in practice more than others and redoubled her efforts to improve her physical fitness and skills,” said Kim Il, secretary general of the wrestling association.

“I wanted to bring home a gold medal of the world championships. My goal is to win an Olympic gold next year,” she told foreign reporters.

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