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North Korea hopes to repeat judo glory at Olympics

North Korea OlympicsJUDO.jpg

June 22, 2012: In this photo, North Korean judo coach Kye Sun Hui, center, trains players in Pyongyang, North Korea.

North Korean judo gold medalist Kye Sun Hui is hoping the national judo team she's been coaching for the London Games will replicate her Olympic achievement that turned her into a national hero 16 years ago.

A delegation of North Korean athletes left for London on Tuesday with hopes of returning to Pyongyang to the same hero's welcome Kye received after winning a gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Kye is now a national team coach.

North Korea's state media said the country is sending 51 athletes to compete in 11 events at the Olympics.

Kye said in an interview during a recent practice that North Koreans have a good chance to win medals in judo events as young athletes practiced the moves at the backdrop of a sign calling for an "athletic legend" in the authoritarian country.