September 29, 2017 / 2:58 PM / in a year

Figure skating-North Korea qualifies first athletes for Pyeongchang 2018

OBERSTDORF, Germany, Sept 29 (Reuters) - North Korea on Friday secured qualification for its first athletes at South Korea’s Pyeongchang Olympics in February when figure skaters Ryom Tae-Ok and Kim Ju-Sik finished in the top six in a qualifying event on Friday.

The pair successfully completed a solid short programme on Thursday and produced an even better free skate performance to make sure of one of five Olympic qualifying spots on offer with Kim pumping his fists at the end of their routine.

The International Skating Union confirmed to Reuters their qualification for Pyeongchang, with Russia and Germany, who were top, having already qualified for the Games in South Korea.

North Korea did not have any athletes at the 2014 Sochi winter Games. (Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Ed Osmond)

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