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Kingdom’s TKD team in Bulgaria

Ismail Vorajee / Khmer Times Share:
ITF Taekwondo

Cambodia’s ITF Taekwondo team touched down in the European city of Plovdiv in Bulgaria on Saturday, ahead of their participation at this week’s 14th Junior, 21st Adult and 9th Veteran World ITF Taekwon-do Championships.

Speaking to reporters ahead of departure, Mr. Keo Remy, President of Southeast Asian Taekwon-do Federation – ITF and Chairman of the Taekwon-do Federation of Cambodia, said that the kingdom have sent 17 youngsters to the competition – including two female athletes.

The city of Plovdiv in Bulgaria will host the 14th Junior, 21st Adult and 9th Veteran World ITF Taekwon-do Championships between 24th-30th of August.

The ITF-iterant of Taekwon-do is characterised as more traditional, focused on self-defense and is also often called a North Korean school of Taekwon-do.

Last August, Cambodian fighters brought back silver and bronze medals from the International Taekwon-do Federation (ITF) Junior and Veteran World Championships in Minsk, Belarus.

Chan Tharath garnered a silver medal after progressing through the round only to lose out to his Russian opponent in the final of the -49kg category.

Prior to the final, he was ranked number 1 in the group before defeating opponents from Estonia, Greece, Japan, Argentina, Jordan, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine. A further bronze also boosted the kingdom’s tally in Minsk.

The kingdom also saw much success at last May’s 9th Asian Taekwon-do ITF Championships in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

The SEA Games already hosts a WTF Taekwon-do event, however, the ITF equivalent is not yet a regular on the region’s biggest sporting spectacle. An official bid for inclusion of the ITF-iterant of Taekwon-do in the 2023 Phnom Penh SEA Games was made by the Southeast Asian Federation of ITF-Taekwon-do last December.

In March 2017, during the annual meeting of Southeast Asian ITF Taekwon-do federations, Mr. Remy noted the Taekwon-do Federation (ITF) would be pushing to include the sport at the 2023 Games.

The bid for inclusion garnered official support from regional neighbours Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines and Indonesia. Latest developments resulted in an official bid for inclusion made by the Southeast Asian ITF Taekwon-do Federation with an official letter addressed to Thong Khon, President of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC). A final decision on inclusion is yet to be reached.

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