Winter Olympics: North Korean skaters Ryom Tae-ok and Kim Ju-sik reach pairs final

Ryom Tae-ok and Kim Ju-sik
Ryom Tae-ok and Kim Ju-sik were the only North Korean athletes to meet Olympic qualifying standards
XXIII Olympic Winter Games
Venue: Pyeongchang, South Korea Dates: 9-25 February
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, Red Button, Connected TVs, BBC Sport website and mobile app. Full coverage times

North Korean figure skaters Ryom Tae-ok and Kim Ju-sik produced a career-best performance to qualify for the pairs final at the Winter Olympics.

The Pyongyang-born pair were awarded 69.40 points by the judges for their short programme routine performed to the Beatles' A Day in the Life.

Ryom, 19, and Kim, 25, progress to Saturday's free skate as one of the 16 qualifiers in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Kim said fans from the host nation cheering offered them "huge support".

"There has been no discomfort and now that we have competed, [we could see] how strong our Korean people can be when we are together," he said.

"We are one people sharing the same bloodline."

Ryom and Kim are the only two of the 22 North Korean athletes at these Games to have met Olympic qualifying standards.

South and North Korean athletes entered under the same flag during last week's opening ceremony, after months of tension in the Korean peninsula.

South Korea has also approved a plan to pay the cost of hosting North Korea's delegation to the Winter Olympics.

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