Big tension among candidates
WTF Presidential elections
As the deadline to present a candidacy for the WTF presidential elections is only 10 away (April 12th), a lot of tension behind the scenes is building up among the candidates that wish to be invested on the 17th of July in Puebla, Mexico, on occasion of the 2013 World Taekwondo Championships.
All candidates are closely observing each other to build the most appropriate strategy, with the estimated number of final candidacies varying between 4 and 5.
The biggest favourite of the presidential race is still Dr. Chungwon Choue, current WTF President, who has already confirmed his intention of presenting a candidacy. Dr. Choue took charge as President of the WTF 9 years ago, in 2004, which makes his experience as a leader one of his main strengths. Choue has led the renovation of Taekwondo in the recent years, when many changes have been made within our sport, and has also been a key person for London 2012’s great success and for Taekwondo’s permanence as an Olympic core sport. That’s bascially why Dr. Choue is still on the pole position.
Choue’s biggest rival seems to be Moon-Jong Hong, a Korean congressman who holds an important position within the current governing party of the country. Hong, who has also made public his intention of presenting a candidacy for the WTF presidency, wishes to unify his candidacy with Choue’s one, but with one non-negotiable condition: Him leading the candidacy and not Choue, which would imply Choue’s withdrawal from the race. However, it has to be said that both the Korean and the Worldwide Taekwondo Community look unfavourably on the entrance of a politician in the Taekwondo scene.
Dr. Choue is worried about Hong’s movements and is also feeling the pressure of Hong’s statements. Even some close sources to Choue are saying he is “in danger”. Both candidates are sounding out the specialized press to know how the Taekwondo community is receiving their strategies.
Other possible candidates
– Soo Nam Park: Mr. Park is the current President of the DTU (German Taekwondo Federation) and the former coach of the German National Team. He took charge of the DTU last October. Mr. Park led a candidacy for the 2009 WTF Presidential elections, but decided to withdraw from the race 1 week before the voting to support IOC member Mr. Nat Indrapana. He hasn’t officially announced his candidacy, but DTU members are implying so.
– Kemaleddin Heydarov: current President of the Azerbaijan Taekwondo Federation and Vice-president of the WTF. Mr. Heydarov is a well known politician in Azerbaijan who is supposed to have a considerable economic power behind. He hasn’t officially presented his candidacy yet, but he might be one of the main alternatives to Choue in case the current WTF leader decides to withdraw.
– Mysterious candidate: According to a relevant source within the Taekwondo community, there is one other person linked to the IOC who is considering the possibility to run for the elections. “It has not been decided yet”, this source states. Depending on this, we could be talking about 4 or 5 candidates for WTF President, which means the number of candidates from the 2009 elections -4- could be exceeded.
All candidates are avoiding being the first one to officially present his candidacy, as they prefer to analyze others’ strategies before defining his’.
Email applications should be received on or before April 12 11:59pm (Korea time), while applications that are sent by post should be clearly post marked on or before April 12.
WTM Sung Jin Park
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