Preparations for 2nd WTF World
Takwondo Poomsae Championships in Incheon, Korea Go Smoothly
Preparations for the 2nd WTF World Taekwondo Poomsae
Championships slated for Nov. 4-6, 2007, in Incheon,
Korea are going smoothly, organizers say.
“As of Oct. 26, a total of 46 countries confirmed
their participation in the 2nd WTF World Taekwondo Poomsae
Championships,” said Jin-bang Yang, acting secretary
general of the Korea Taekwondo Association on Oct. 26.
Mr. Yang expected that about 500 athletes and officials
will attend the three-day event, which will take place
at the Samsan Gymnasium in Incheon, west of Seoul. The
event is promoted by the WTF and organized by the KRA.
“Given a series of continental Olympic taekwondo
qualification tournaments, the number of participating
countries this time will be fewer than last year’s
inaugural event,” Mr. Yang said. The 1st WTF World
Taekwondo Poomsae Championships drew 584 athletes and
officials from 57 countries.
The African Taekwondo Qualification Tournament for
the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games is scheduled for Nov.
1-3 in Tripoli, Libya. The qualifier has attracted 88
athletes from 28 African countries. Through the African
qualifier, the top two athletes from each of the eight
Olympic categories will qualify their national Olympic
committees a place in the respective event.
“As part of our efforts to further promote taekwondo
poomsae worldwide, we decided to field our athletes
only to 13 out of a total of 16 categories,” Mr.
Yang said. Korea swept all the 16 titles at the 1st
The opening ceremony of the 2nd Poomsae Championships
is scheduled to take place at 4 p.m. on Nov. 4 at the
Samsan Gymnasium. The event will be broadcast live by
KBS-N, reflecting the media's great concern of the Poomsae
The WTF launched the Poomsae Championships last year
as part of its efforts to further expand the global
base of taekwondo population.
The Poomsae Championships take place shortly after
the 3rd Korea Open International Taekwondo Championships,
which are scheduled for Nov. 1-3 at the same venue in
The annual Korea Open, which is organized by the KTA,
is expected to draw about 380 athletes and officials
from 32 countries. The opening ceremony of the Korea
Open is slated to take place at 5 p.m. on Nov. 1 at
WTF World Taekwondo Olympic Tournament Wraps
Up in Resounding Success in Manchester, U.K.
The WTF World Taekwondo Qualification Tournament
concluded in a resounding success in Manchester, the
United Kingdom on Sept. 30, 2007. No protest was lodged
during the three-day event, for the first time ever
in the WTF's 34-year history.
Korea earned a full four berths for the taekwondo competition
at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games after three days of
the WTF World Taekwondo Qualification Tournament.
France, Cuba, Canada, Italy and Chinese Taipei clinched
two places each for the Beijing Olympic Games through
the World Qualification Tournament, which took place
at the Manchester Evening News (MEN) Arena in downtown
Manchester. The tournament drew 328 players from 104
countries, with the attendance of 54 international referees
from 41 countries.
Ten other countries won one ticket each for the 2008
Olympic Games. They are the United States, Great Britain,
Germany, the Philippines, Australia, Mali, Croatia,
Greece, Mexico and Thailand.
The final day of the Manchester qualification tournament
featured two weight categories of the men’s -80kg
and the women’s -57kg.
In the men’s -80kg category, Canada’s Sebastien
Michaud placed first, while the United States’
Steven Lopez and Italy’s Mauro Sarmiento placed
second and third, respectively, earning their countries
a berth each for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
In the women’s -57kg division, Korea’s
Lim Su-jeong placed first, while Italy’s Veronica
Calabrese and Thailand’s Premwaew Chonnapas placed
second and third, respectively.
A total of 128 athletes are to compete in the taekwondo
competition of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Through
the World Qualification Tournament, the top three athletes
from each of the eight Olympic weight categories, totaling
24, qualify their national Olympic committees a place
in the respective event.
Through the WTF’s five continental qualifications,
a total of 96 places, comprising of 48 men’s and
48 women’s places, will be allocated. Asia, Europe
and Pan America will be allocated 24 places each in
the same competition format. Africa and Oceania will
have 16 and eight places, respectively.
The immediate continental qualification is the African
Taekwondo Qualification Tournament scheduled for Nov.
1-3 this year in Tripoli, Libya, followed by the Asian
qualification Nov. 28-30 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
The Oceania qualification is slated for Dec. 1 in New
Caledonia; the Pan-American qualification on Dec. 8-9
in Cali, Colombia; and the European qualification on
Jan. 26-27, next year in Istanbul, Turkey.
WTF Holds Council Meeting on Occasion of World
Taekwondo Qualification Tournament in Manchester
The World Taekwondo Federation held its Council meeting
in Manchester, the United Kingdom, on Sept. 27, a day
before the opening of the WTF World Taekwondo Qualification
The World Qualification Tournament opend on Sept. 28
for a three-day run at
the Manchester Evening News (MEN) Arena in downtown
Manchester. The tournament drew about 340 athletes from
At the WTF Council meeting, the participants approved
two African countries Uganda and Gambia as the WTF’s
new members, thus raising the total number of the WTF
membership to 186.
WTF President Chungwon Choue reported to the Council
members about a plan to establish continental Taekwondo
training centers to further promote the Olympic sport
Dr. Choue also mentioned about the technical matters
concerning the Taekwondo competition at the 2010 Youth
The Council decided to deal with proposed amendments
to the WTF Rules and Regulations and the Standing Procedures
for the Taekwondo competitions at the Olympic Games,
together with the sudden death round at every match,
at next Council meeting after discussions at the Executive
Committee meeting in January next year in Seoul.
Mr. Cao Tao, competition manager of Taekwondo at the
2008 Beijing Olympic Games, presented a progress report
to the Council members. He said the organizing committee
plans to hold an International Taekwondo Invitational
Tournament on Feb. 26-29 next year at the USTB Gymnasium
International Workshop on Sports and Peace Held
in Leuven, Belgium
An international workshop on sports and peace was
held at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL) in Belgium
on Sept. 21, 2007.
Under the topic “Sports and Peace: An Interdisciplinary
Approach to the World Peace Through Sports,” the
international workshop drew a dozen
of renowned speakers from several countries.
The workshop was jointly organized by Katholieke Universiteit
Leuven, the Graduate School of Physical Education, Kyung
Hee University in Korea, and the International Peace
Research Association. It was supported by the World
Taekwondo Federation and GCS International.
Among the speakers were Prof. Luc Reychler of KUL,
who also serves as secretary general of the International
Peace Research Association; Mr. Niels Nygaard, president
of the Danish National Olympic Committee; Prof. Ju Ho
Chang, president of the Korean Olympic Academy; Prof.
Franjo Prot of the Faculty of Kinesiology, University
of Zagreb in Croatia; and Mr. Soren Holmgard Knudsen,
president of the Danish Taekwondo Federation.
At the workshop, Chungwon Choue, president of the World
Taekwondo Federation, proposed the creation of “Sports
Peace Corps” in his speech at the workshop.
“The United Nations and the International Olympic
Committee have many fundamental values in common. As
set by the UN Charter, the ultimate goal of the UN is
to bring forward cooperation of the global community
to promote peace and sustainable development,”
said WTF President Choue.
“Enhanced partnership and coordination of action
of these two organizations can create synergy to strengthen
the role of sport in solving international economic,
social, cultural and humanitarian problems and promoting
peace and development in the world,” he said.
“My vision of a comprehensive IOC-UN global collaboration
project is the creation of ‘Sport Peace Corps.’”
According to WTF President Choue, the basic mechanism
of the “Sport Peace Corps” is “providing
comprehensive assistance to the underdeveloped countries
or the UN-assigned areas by dispatching a group of volunteers
following a period of education and training. And the
assistance includes coaching and training service to
the local young athletes, supply of equipment and facilities,
and finding the means and opportunity for the competent
young people to partake in the international sport events
such as the Youth Olympic Games that are due to take
place in 2010.”
The Sport Peace Corps project aims at utilizing sport
as part of education, training and youth program; helping
the Olympic Solidarity Movement at the grassroot level
by providing equipment, skills for education and training,
and coaches for any Olympic sport in the countries in
need of assistance; bringing hope and dreams to the
young people who are deprived of the opportunity to
learn and practice sports.
"I believe that the Sport Peace Corps project
is a win-win proposal for both the IOC and the U.N.
since the project itself fulfills the fundamental principles
of both organizations with an action-oriented scheme,"
Dr. Choue said.
WTF President Tours 4 European Countries to Meet
with High-ranking Sports and Political Figures
WTF President Chungwon Choue made a two-week-long
tour of four European countries to meet with high-ranking
sports and political figures, including Croatian President
As part of his efforts to promote the Olympic sport
of Taekwondo, he traveled to
Bulgaria, Croatia, Belgium and Denmark before coming
to Manchester, the United Kingdom for the WTF World
Taekwondo Qualification Tournament scheduled for Sept.
During his visit to Sofia, Bulgaria Sept. 15-18, WTF
President Choue met with Mrs. Stefka Kostadinova, president
of the Bulgarian Olympic Committee; Mr. Ivan Lekov,
deputy chairman of the State Agency for Youth and Sports;
and Mr. Feim Chaushev, deputy minister of the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs.
The Bulgarian NOC president won the silver medal at
the 1988 Seoul Olympic Silver and the gold medal at
the 1006 Atlanta Olympic Games both in high jump.
Mr. Lekov proposed holding a Taekwondo symposium next
year in Sofia, to which WTF President Choue made a favorable
While in Sofia, Dr. Choue also visited the Sports Museum
in downtown Sofia to present a Taekwondo poster to the
After his four-day visit to Bulgaria, Dr. Choue flew
to Zagreb, Croatia on Sept. 19 for a three-day visit.
He met with, among others, Mr. Tomislav Sepec, president
of the Zagreb Sports Association; Mrs. Ljiljana Kuhta
Jelicic, deputy mayor of the City of Zagreb; Mr. MSci
Slobodan Mikac, managing director of the Trade and Investment
Promotion Agency of the Republic of Bulgaria; Mr. Dragan
Primorac, minister, the Ministry of Science, Education
and Sports; and Prof. Dinko Vuleta, dean of the Faculty
of Kinesiology, University of Zagreb.
On Sept. 20, WTF President paid a courtesy call to
His Majesty Mr. Stjepan Mesic, president of the Republic
of Croatia. At the meeting, the Croatian president asked
for the WTF’s continued support for the promotion
of Taekwondo in Croatia, showing his great interest
in the Olympic sport of Taekwondo.
Croatia won one gold, one silver and one bronze medal
at the 2007 WTF World Taekwondo Championships in Beijing,
After his meeting with the Croatian president, Dr.
Choue met with Mr. Zlatko Matesa, president of the Croatian
Olympic Committee, to exchange opinions on how to develop
Taekwondo in his country.
WTF President, then, traveled to Belgium on Sept. 20
to attend the inaugural International Workshop on Sport
and Peace, which kicked off on Sept. 21 for a two-day
At the workshop, Dr. Choue proposed the creation of
the so-called “Sport Peace Corps” in coopration
among the WTF, the United Nations and the International
On Sept. 23, WTF President visited Copenhagen, Denmark
for a four-day run.
While in Copenhagen, Dr. Choue met with Mr. Lars Lundov,
executive director, Sports Foundation Denmark; Mr. Niels
Nygaard, president of National Olympic Committee and
Sports Confederation of Denmark; and r. Kai Holm, member
of International Olympic Committee, executive member
of the European Olympic Committee and president of International
Master Games Association.
Dr. Choue also visited the venue of the 2009 WTF World
Taekwondo Championships to be briefed on the progress.
Zambia Seeks WTF Support in Promoting HIV/AIDS Awareness
Zambia seeks a strong support from the World Taekwondo
Federation in helping fight HIV/AIDS in the African
“In cooperation with the WTF, we want to promote
HIV/AIDS awareness through taekwondo, and if realized,
it would be the first sports organization in our country,”
said Mr. Chenda K. Chilufya, president of the Zambia
Taekwondo Federation, in a recent interview
at the headquarters of the WTF in Seoul.
Mr. Chilufya met with WTF President Chungwon Choue
on Oct. 8 at the latter’s office to explain in
detail about his HIV/AIDS proposal.
The Zambia Taekwondo Federation, which was set up in
2003 in the city of Kitwe, officially joined the WTF
in 2006 as a full member.
He said, “The sport of taekwondo has been very
well received by young people in the age group ranging
from 14 to 35 years old. Thus it is spreading faster
in schools and communities where this age group exists.”
“Taekwondo is growing at a fast rate in our country.”
“Taekwondo was established in our country, in
some sense, to supplement government efforts in providing
sport to the young people as a way of promoting good
health, self-defense and curbing idle time among the
youth, so as to prevent them from indulging in risk
behavior such as beer drinking, smoking, drug abuse,
prostitution which may lead to contracting HIV/AIDS,”
Mr. Chilufya said.
He said, “This sport is becoming very popular
and it is termed as a ‘sport for the new generation.’
Apparently, this is the age group which is more affected
by HIV/AIDS.” “The idea now is to use this
sport to advocate for behavior change in the youth through
competitions and other interventions.”
In Zambia, Mr. Chilufya said, the HIV/AIDS prevalence
rate was 16.6% of the entire population in 2004, of
which 82% are those aged between 18 and 35.
“My conviction is that using sport could be a
very effective way of disseminating information to communities
and schools because of the manner in which young people
value sport,” he said. “Following the popularity
of taekwondo and the current growing number of youths
being attracted to the Olympic sport of taekwondo, I
think taekwondo can be the right sport to fight the
The one-year pilot project targets four community schools
– Kamatipa, Ipusukilo, Kamakonde and Mulenga –
and nearby areas in Kitwe. “These target areas
are highly populated with high incidence of HIV/AIDS
“Once the pilot project succeeds, which will
require a budget of about $36,500, we plan to expand
the project to other areas and cities,” Mr. Chilufya
He painted a rosy picture of taekwondo in Zambia. “Ten
years later, taekwondo will be positioned as the number
2 sport in my country after football.”
Zambia is scheduled to host the All African Games in
2011, and taekwondo is included among the official sports
of the sporting event, according to him. “We want
to construct a Sport for Hope Center in Zambia, and
we ask for financial support from the WTF.”
WTF to Name “Thrash Metal” band Megadeth
Leader Dave Mustaine as Goodwill Ambassader
The World Taekwondo Federation will appoint U.S.
legendary thrash metal band Megadeth leader Dave Mustaine
as the WTF Goodwill Ambassador in a ceremony in Seoul,
Korea, on Oct. 27, 2007.
It will mark the first time for the WTF, the world’s
sole taekwondo governing body recognized by the International
Committee, to appoint its Goodwill Ambassador.
The four-member Megadeth band, which is now on a Pacific
Rim concert tour, is to arrive in Seoul in the afternoon
of Oct. 27 for its concert at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 28 at
the Olympic Hall of Olympic Park in Seoul. For Megadeth,
it will be their fourth concert for Korean fans this
time, following its performances in 1998, 2000 and 2001.
The conferment ceremony for Megadeth will take place
around 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 27 at the Grand InterContinental
Hotel in downtown Seoul.
On behalf of WTF President Chungwon Choue, who is now
abroad, WTF Secretary General Jin Suk Yang will present
Megadeth leader Mustaine with a certificate of appointment
as the WTF “Goodwill Ambassador of the World”
and an honorary WTF 4th Dan certificate, as well as
a taekwondo uniform and a black belt.
The other three Megadeth members - bassist James LoMenzo,
guitarist Glen Drover and his brother Shawn Drover -
will each receive a taekwondo uniform and a black belt
during the ceremony.
As a pioneer of the American thrash metal movement,
Megadeth rose to international fame in the mid 1980s,
but were plagued by constant lineup changes, due partly
to Mustaine’s and fellow band members’ notorious
substance abuse problems. After finding sobriety and
securing a stable lineup, Megadeth went on to release
a string of platinum and gold albums between 1986 and
Medadeth disbanded in 2002 after Mustaine suffered a
severe nerve injury to his left arm, but following 17
months of extensive physical therapy and intensive taekwondo
training, Mustaine reorganized the band in 2004 before
releasing “The System has Failed” and “United
Abominations” in 2007, which debuted at No. 8
on the Billboard Top 200 chart.
Mr. Mustaine, born in 1961 and a taekwondo black belt
holder, recently accepted the WTF offer as the WTF Goodwill
Ambassador, promising to do his best for the promotion
of the Olympic sport of taekwondo.
Concerning taekwondo, he said that taekwondo is “the
source of his confidence in his life.”
Medadeth is often mentioned as one of the “Big
Four of Thrash” bands, along with Anthrax, Metallica