Pak Yong Sun celebrates on the rostrum as she holds up a trophy after winning a gold medal in the women’s singles at the 33rd world table tennis championships.
Among the outstanding DPRK athletes was Pak Yong Sun who left an indelible impression on people in the 1970s as world table-tennis queen.
Pak began to learn the sport at the school in a mountain village in her childhood and won a national table-tennis competition in her middle school days, before being picked to the then February 8 Sports Club.
Since then, she had forged her career under the guidance of a competent coach.
Pak who distinguished herself in the international arena already in her teens drew the expectations of experts by achieving good results at the women’s singles of the five continental table tennis tournament in China in 1974 and several other games.
The 33rd world table tennis championships in India in February 1975 was a good opportunity for her to flaunt her talent.
At that time no one had paid attention to her as they had not even imagined she would emerge winner.
She beat all opponents and snatched a thrilling win in the women’s singles, thus receiving the crown and belt symbolic of the “world table-tennis queen” from the ITTF and the organizing committee.
In the championships she left a gripping anecdote according to which she in a decisive match fought perseveringly with one score left for her opponent to win and finally triumphed.
Afterwards, she underwent an intensive training by setting her sights on another world championship. She defeated all opponents in the women’s singles at the 34th world table tennis championships in the UK in April 1977, thus becoming a two-time world champion.
At the 35th world championships in Pyongyang in April 1979 she gave full play to her techniques as a world table-tennis star to contribute to the DPRK squad’s finishing runner-up.
She collected 37 medals including 15 golds by winning many international games during her table-tennis career.
The table-tennis queen who left an indelible mark in the world history of table tennis died of an incurable disease at the age of 31.
She was Labour Hero and People’s Athlete of the DPRK.
She was buried in the Patriotic Martyrs Cemetery.