President Choue: "We have great expectations of Grand Prix"
WTF President Chungwon Choue had a meeting with 7 Taekwondo journalists on March 14th, at the WTF office in Seongnam, Korea.
President Choue started the meeting talking about the IOC Executive Board’s decision to keep Taekwondo as an Olympic Sport, which was officially announced last month.
“The day before the IOC EB’s meeting, I was in Lausanne with 10 other WTF Executive Council members. I can’t explain with words how anxious I was back then. It was considered inappropriate for Koreans to be walking around the meeting place before a decision was made, so I stayed at the WTF office in Lausanne. As soon as I heard Taekwondo had survived, I called each one of our Executive Council members to announce the good news. Some of them even took a plane right after receiving my phone call and they flew from Turkey, Russia and other countries to celebrate it with us in Lausanne. It was worth having a celebration party all together and it was a good opportunity to show the world how united our Taekwondo community is.”
President Choue also added that this was not the end.
“As we have all seen with wrestling, there is no eternal Olympic sport anymore. There is still the IOC session in September so this is not the end yet. What we can clearly learn from wrestling’s elimination is that a sport which is not loved by the audience, a sport that does not change cannot survive. In that sense, Taekwondo and WTF need to undergo more changes.”
Furthermore, President Choue emphasized that one of the main transformations of Taekwondo will be the greater importance that the World Grand Prix Series will acquire in the future. It is expected to be the most important Taekwondo event right after the Olympic Games and the World Championships.
The categories of those events which are approved by the WTF will also change drastically. For instance, the Olympic Games will be up-ranked from G10 to G20. The World Championships will be a G12 event instead of G7 and the Grand Prix will be a G8 event. This clearly shows the importance of the World Grand Prix Series.
“We are working very hard for the Grand Prix establishment. We have great expectations by making it an audience and media-friendly event, where the best athletes of the world will show the best Taekwondo”, said President Choue.
Regarding the recent controversy on the WTFA’s role, President Choue said “I think there was some kind of misunderstanding. The WTFA will take care of referees’ education at grass root levels, while the elite referees’ education will continue being taken care jointly by the Referee Commission and the WTF office.”
The most frequently asked question by the journalists was whether President Choue had met the Korean congressman who declared his intention to run the WTF presidential elections and if so, what did they talk about.
“I did meet that congressman, but we did not talk about the elections like the media has been saying”.
President Choue said he would talk about the elections after he presents his candidacy.
WTM Sung Jin Park