Sports

Women's Ice Hockey Team in 'Tough Situation,' Coach Says

By Joo Hyung-sik | January 23, 2018 12:45

Sarah Murray, the head coach of the women's ice hockey team, spoke out about her feelings on coaching a unified Korean team after North Korea abruptly decided to field its players just weeks before the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

"It is a tough situation to have our team be used for political reasons, but it's kind of something that's bigger than ourselves right now," Murray told a news conference in Jincheon, North Chungcheong Province on Monday.

Sarah Murray, the head coach of the women's ice hockey team, speaks at a press conference in Jincheon, North Chungcheong Province on Monday.

The International Olympic Committee on Saturday announced an agreement under which 12 North Korean players will join the current 23-woman South Korean squad to form a unified Olympic team.

Asked about how she would select the lineup for each game, she said, "I've been assured that I have ultimate control… It's my choice who plays. So as far as I know I have complete control and I'm going to play the players I want."

Murray stressed the need for teamwork, saying, "Right now, our plan is we're going to pick the best players. We're trying to win at the Olympics."

"I hope they come as soon as possible so we can start practicing right away," said Murray, adding that she doesn't know which North Korean players will come or when.

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