• Kyodo

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North Korean judoka Kye Sun Hui, the 1996 Atlanta Olympic women’s 48-kg gold medalist, will compete in the World Judo Championships to be held in Osaka in September, organizers said on the competition’s entry deadline Monday. Kye, who won the 52-kg gold at the 2001 worlds in Munich, Germany, has been entered in the 57-kg weight category for the four-day championships that kick off Sept. 11 at Osakajo Hall. Ri Kyong Ok, who lost to Japan’s Ryoko Tamura in the 48-kg final in Munich, will also compete. Sydney Olympic champion Tamura will be gunning for her sixth straight world title in Osaka. North Korea will be making its fourth straight appearance in the World Championships since the 1997 Paris meet. North Korean residents of Japan in Osaka have hailed North Korea’s participation in the judo championships, saying it would have a salutary effect on relations between the two countries. An official of the Osaka police earlier this month said the North Korean contingent is expected to draw a lot of attention given diplomatic tension between Japan and North Korea over the issue of Japanese nationals abducted to North Korea. According to organizers, a total of 79 countries and territories have completed entries for the championships.

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