North Korean makes history at World Aquatics Championships

Teenager Kim Kuk-hyang paid tribute to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un after winning her country’s first ever World Aquatics Championships gold medal.


The 16-year-old diver won in the women’s individual 10m platform final – with China’s Ren Qian, 14, second.

“It gives me great pleasure to meet the expectations of my government and our great leader,” Kuk-hyang said.

Britain’s Tonia Couch, 26, matched her best individual World final result by finishing in eighth.

The Olympian who won the overall World Series title earlier this year – had already secured Team GB a place in the event at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games by virtue of qualifying for the final.

North Korea’s team bronze on Wednesday was the country’s first-ever World Championship medal. They are trained by world-leading Chinese diving coaches and are quickly establishing themselves as serious medal contenders in multiple events.

Kuk-hyang, who was in tears during the medal ceremony, told BBC Sport:

“I hope when I go home that people will come out onto the streets to celebrate and I will do everything I can to win an Olympic gold medal next year.”

On Friday World Series winner Jack Laugher will attempt to add to his medal collection in the individual 3m springboard final – having won bronze alongside Chris Mears in the synchronised event earlier in the week.

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