|Taekwondo at the Athens Olympics. (ATR)|| |
(ATR) Talks that could lead to a merger of two of the international federations representing taekwondo will take place next week. The IOC-recognized World Taekwondo Federation and rival International Taekwondo Federation meet in Beijing.
The merger could end part of the confusion over worldwide administration and development of the sport, which is represented by three organizations, two going by the name of International Taekwondo Federation.
The ITF involved in talks with the WTF is headed by IOC member Un Chang of North Korea.
The WTF, the federation responsible for Olympic taekwondo, is based in Seoul and has been embarking on a reform program as part of efforts to keep its position secure on the Olympic program.
Discussions have been held on merging the federations on other occasions. The ITF is older than the WTF, but with the WTF headed in the 1990's by then-powerful (and now ex-) IOC member Un Yong Kim, the Seoul federation won the IOC imprimatur to be the federation of record for the martial art. It made its Olympics debut in 2000.Olympic news of the week in the June 24 issue of Around the Rings.Com, for subscribers only.