Dr Choue, discouraged after not being invited to ITF World Champs
World Taekwondo President Chungwon Choue has expressed his disappointment that the governing body did not receive a promised return invitation to send its Demonstration Team to last month’s International Taekwondo Federation (ITF) World Championships in North Korea’s capital Pyongyang.
In June, Choue and ITF counterpart Ri Yong-son, of North Korea, discussed the prospective performance of the World Taekwondo Demonstration Team at the ITF World Championships, which took place from September 15 to 21.
The meeting was held in South Korea’s capital Seoul and took place during the 2017 World Taekwondo Championships in Muju, a county in the North Jeolla Province of South Korea.
In what was described as a “show of taekwondo unity and sportive goodwill”, a North Korean demonstration team from the ITF performed alongside the World Taekwondo Demonstration Team during the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2017 World Taekwondo Championships.
But World Taekwondo never received a return invitation as had been expected.
“Yes it was very disappointing because the last time they were in [South] Korea, they promised they were going to invite us to attend the ITF World Championships, but they didn’t realise that,” Choue told insidethegames here on the sidelines of the 2017 World Para-Taekwondo Championships and World Taekwondo Grand Prix.
On the last day of the 2017 World Taekwondo Championships, Choue confirmed that a verbal agreement had been reached with the ITF for the two organisations’ demonstration teams to perform during next year’s Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang.
He said a written agreement for the Pyeongyeong 2018 performance was due to be signed during the ITF World Championships.
Any future agreement would be subject to approval from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Pyeongchang 2018 organisers.
“I hope it can be realised to have a joint demonstration team at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games,” Choue said.
“I think that will really enhance the easing of tensions between, not only the North and South, but the North East Asian region.”
Choue intends to discuss the matter with IOC President Thomas Bach during the 2017 IF Forum, which is scheduled to take place in Olympic capital Lausanne from November 8 to 10.
“The IOC and World Taekwondo will then send a letter to the ITF,” he said.
Choue is hopeful an agreement can be reached by the end of this year with Pyeongchang 2018 due to be held early next year, from February 9 to 25.
World Taekwondo is currently the only taekwondo body recognised by the IOC.
But the ITF is the older body having been founded in 1966 by Choi Hong Hi in Seoul.
Following his exile from South Korea by the Park Chung-hee administration, Choi moved to Canada and established the ITF headquarters in Toronto, before moving them to Vienna in 1985.
North Korea’s sole IOC member Chang Ung was elected President of the ITF after Choi’s death in 2002, but was replaced by Ri Yong Son in 2015.
In August 2014, Choue and Chang signed a Protocol of Accord during the Summer Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing.
One year later, a 22-member ITF demonstration team, including 13 North Koreans, performed at the Opening Ceremony of the World Taekwondo Championships in Russian city Chelyabinsk.
Source: InsideTheGames (Daniel Etchells)