By Nick Butler at the Main Press Centre in Incheon

Hyun Jeong-hwa has resigned from her Asian Para Games post following her arrest ©Yonhap via Incheon 2014South Korea's former Olympic table tennis champion Hyun Jeong-hwa has resigned from her position as chief of the Athletes' Village at the Incheon 2014 Asian Para Games after crashing her car while drink driving.

The 44-year-old, winner of the doubles gold at Seoul 1988, is best known for being part of a historic unified Korean team that won the gold medal at the 1991 World Championships in Chiba, Japan. 

She is consequently a national heroine and one of the best known retired athletes in South Korea, being among a group of ex-champions who featured as part of a Flagbearing squad during the Opening Ceremony of the Asian Games here on September 19.

But in the early hours of yesterday morning, Hyun was involved in a collision when her car hit a taxi at an intersection in Seongnam, a satellite city of Seoul.

One male passenger in the taxi was injured and taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.

Hyun, who was thought to have been out drinking with friends following the two table tennis team finals here, had a blood alcohol level of 0.201 per cent, well over the legal limit.

According to police investigators, she said she did not remember with whom or where she had been drinking, but was allowed to return home subject to questioning later. 

Hyun, who also won Olympic singles and doubles bronze at Barcelona 1992, has since apologised and offered to resign her post of chief of the Athletes' Village for the Asian Para Games, with the Organising Committee accepting her offer.

The South Korean film "As One" was made in 2012 documenting the gold medal-winning unified Korean team, which Hyun Jeong-hwa was part of ©WikipediaThe South Korean film "As One" was made in 2012 documenting the gold medal-winning unified Korean team, which Hyun Jeong-hwa was part of ©Wikipedia

It is yet to be decided who will replace her, although it is hoped a new appointment will be made "as soon as possible" ahead of the Games getting underway on October 18.

In a deep and tragic irony, it has since been reported that Li Bun-hee, one of the North Korean players who competed alongside Hyun in the unified Korean team in 1991, was seriously injured in a car accident in Pyongyang late last month, reportedly breaking her neck after her car was struck by a truck.

Li, currently chief of North Korea's Disabled Athletes Association, had been seen as the person most likely to lead the 150-strong North Korean delegation here for the Games.

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