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  • Taekwondo Readies for Big Decisions; Bach Heads to Worlds


    (ATR) Preparations for Tokyo 2020 and governance will be key talking points at World Taekwondo’s general assembly in Manchester on Tuesday.

    World Taekwondo council meeting was held on Monday in Manchester (WT)
    The annual gathering of national federations takes place at the Vermilion conference venue in the northwest of England city. The assembly comes on the eve of the May 15-19 world championships at Manchester Arena.

    World Taekwondo president Chungwon Choue and federation colleagues will join leaders from the 206 member associations to discuss the progress of their preparations for next year’s Olympics.

    The international federation’s governance will also come under scrutiny amid the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations’ ongoing drive to improve member IFs management of their practices and operations.

    At the World Taekwondo Council meeting in Manchester on Monday, the federation’s leaders “reiterated their commitment to upholding the highest standards of good governance”.

    Action was taken to improve and amend the federation’s statutes in line with this aim. A comprehensive restructuring of the World Taekwondo Standing Committees is taking place “in order to maximise efficiency and ensure their composition reflects the diversity of the federation’s membership”, World Taekwondo said in a statement.

    “The number of committees will be reduced to 17 and a greater emphasis will be placed on delivering and reporting results,” it said.

    An update on ASOIF’s governance review was presented. World Taekwondo is in the process of establishing rules of engagement to ensure all aspects of good governance are practiced in the sport from the top of the federation through to the continental associations and national federations. Upgrades to the code of ethics to become compliant with the IOC version were also approved.

    Taekwondo Council Decisions

    The World Taekwondo Council announced Cancun, Mexico as host of the 2020 Grand Prix Final and Manchester as the host of the 2021 Grand Prix Series and 2023 Grand Prix Final.

    The sport’s ruling body also adopted the IOC’s Athletes’ Rights and Responsibilities policy to ensure that athletes are at the heart of the sport.

    “World Taekwondo is also dedicated to protecting athlete welfare and the council heard an update on the excellent work that is being done with the IOC to develop its safeguarding policies,” the federation said in a statement.

    There was also an update on the newly-launched WT Events Mobile App, which consolidates all information related to the federation’s events and makes it easily accessible on one user-friendly platform.

    WT President Chungwon Choue gives keynote speech at WT conference on Sunday (WT)
    The council meeting came a day after the federation’s conference on social development, safe sport, integrity and compliance. It’s the first time World Taekwondo has hosted a conference in this format.

    “World Taekwondo is committed to constantly learning from international best-practice to ensure that we implement robust measures which will safeguard our athletes and ensure the integrity of our competitions,” said Choue, who delivered the keynote address in which he spoke of the sport’s work through the Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation.

    “We are dedicated to realising the potential of taekwondo to make a social impact beyond sport competitions and provide hope to millions around the world.”

    Choue said the conference had been “very helpful in providing different perspectives and expertise which will allow us to move forward in achieving these goals. Not only do we want to lead from the front as the International Federation, but we also want to equip our national federations with the knowledge and tools to be able to implement policies at a national level.”

    World Taekwondo secretary general Hoss Rafaty talked about safe sport at the conference, with two IOC consultants on athlete safeguarding and gender equality emphasizing the importance of putting in place policies to safeguard athletes.

    Bach Heads to Worlds

    IOC president Thomas Bach will meet with World Taekwondo president Chungwon Choue and the sport’s senior execs on Saturday. He will also catch some action at the World Taekwondo Championships – the first time the event has come to Great Britain.

    Around 975 athletes from 150 countries and one refugee team under World Taekwondo’s flag will be competing in 16 weight categories (eight men, eight women) over five action-packed days at the Manchester Arena.

    Reported by Mark Bisson in Manchester, England

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