Coach of two-time world wrestling champions

February 13, 2023

The DPRK is blessed with many sportspersons who contributed to the development of the country’s sports. 

Among them is People’s Athlete Ri Chang Jong, who was a competent coach that trained two-time world wrestling champions.  


Man of strong will

Ri was a very responsible coach. 

His forte was to find out the strong points of players and develop them. 

According to his former colleagues, he was an excellent coach with a deep sense of responsibility, strong will and rich practical experience which formed the basis for training wrestling champions. 

Under his coaching, Ri Jae Sik could win world wrestling title twice. Originally, Jae Sik was one of ordinary players.

But the coach saw in him special merits. Though small in stature, he had suitable physical constitution as a wrestler and grit with which to carry out training assignments. The trainer made exact demand on him. And the coach’s sportsmanship raised him up whenever he was about to succumb to exhaustion. 

According to coaches who spent their playing career with Ri Jae Sik, Ri Chang Jong devoted his all to bringing honour to the country without seeking individual fame or wealth. Thanks to his painstaking efforts, Ri Jae Sik won international matches in succession in the 1980s and became a two-time world title holder. And later, he also became a competent wrestling coach.

Route to success

As a coach, Ri Chang Jong followed the route to success.

He trained many wrestlers and earned the title of Merited Athlete by coaching his trainees to victory at different national and international contests.  

Under his guidance, Yang Kyong Il became a two-time world title holder. Yang snatched gold medals in the 55kg freestyle wrestling event of the World Wrestling Championships in 2009 and the 57kg freestyle wrestling event of the World Wrestling Championships in 2014. 

For producing two-time world champions by dint of ingenious technique and strong willpower, Ri was awarded the title of People’s Athlete.  

Afterwards, he took part in the Seventh National Conference of Sportspersons and had a photo taken with General Secretary Kim Jong Un


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