[By NBC-1TV H. J Yook]BAKU, Azerbaijan (Dec. 11, 2016) - The WTF put on the ritz as it held its 3rd Annual Gala Awards in the ballroom annex of Baku’s Badamdar Hotel – and also raised over USD60,000 for its charity initiative, the Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation, or THF.
As part of efforts to make the federation fully athlete-centric, the WTF Gala Awards offer taekwondo’s elite sportsmen and women the opportunity to network and relax in evening wear rather than tracksuits and in luxury surroundings rather than sweaty warmup zones, while dining on five-star hotel rations rather than high-protein energy bars.
In an opening address, WTF President Chungwon Choue discussed how the “World Taekwondo Family” enjoys both good times and bad times together, and how its humanitarian initiatives for refugees and displaced people around the world make it different from other sports organizations.
He congratulated the Azeri Minister of Youth and Sports Azad Rahimov – who attended the Gala Awards - on the country’s only gold medal in the Rio Olympics, won for Azerbaijan by Radik Isaev – one of the award nominees. Choue also shared the news that Djibouti had recently joined the WTF as a full member, meaning the WTF now has 207 member national associations.
He also commented on the amended rules and regulations, to be applied from next year.
“We will have a new taekwondo competition at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games,” he said. “I believe it will showcase taekwondo as the ‘best of the best’ combat sports in the world.” WTF Vice President and Azerbaijan Taekwondo Federation President Kamaladdin Heydarov received a special awards by Choue. Heydarov thanked the WTF for holding its year-end events– the Grand Prix Final, World Taekwondo Team Championships and Gala Awards - in Baku, and was given a special award by Choue.
Minister Rahimov was also given a appreciation plaque. “It is a high privilege to be here with you and we are proud to host this event,” Rahimov said, noting that Azerbaijan “is a land of fire and a country of sports.”
A local warbler then took to the stage and, against a kaleidoscopic backdrop, delivering a series of local hits and lounge classics like “Georgia on my Mind.” The crowd amused themselves mugging for the roving camera, then got into the swing of things when a songstress appeared and delivered a pair of soulful Azeri numbers which had the crowd exercising their clapping muscles.
Then it was time for the awards. The Female Player of the Year award went to Great Britain’s double Olympic gold medalist Jade Jones. “I would just like to thank everyone who supported me - the support is phenomenal,” she said. “We train so hard, we are constantly getting pushed and getting the best training. Thank you everyone!”
The Male Player of the Year award went to Jordan’s Ahmad Abughaush, who delivered his country its first-ever Olympic medal in Rio – gold. He thanked the president and members of the WTF, adding, “I am so proud to be here with you, with the referees, coaches and players.”
The Referee of the Year Award, Women, went to Maria Merkouri of Georgia. “Thanks to all of you,” she said. “And thanks to my dear friends the referees – you are the best!”
The Referee of the Year Award, Men, went to Song-chul Kim of Canada. “I am really honored to accept this award, it means a lot to me and I would like to say thank you to all of the taekwondo family for supporting me,” he said. The Best Member National Association of the Year award was won by to Azerbaijan – a decision that was clearly popular with the crowd.
The Best Kick of the Year award was won by Cote d’Ivoire’s Cheick Salleh Junior Cisse (who did not attend) for his last-second jump spinning heel kick to the head of Great Britain’s Lutalo Mohammad - which won him the gold in the -80kg category in Rio.
The Coach of the Year award was won by Azerbaijan’s Reza Mehmandoust. He noted that his team had great support and thanked Choue and all persons attending.
The last event of the gala awards was the THF Challenge. Branded “Break Boards, Change Lives” the event was rapid fire, with various VIPs being invited to the stage to break a board, pledge a donation and challenge another person present.
Among those who took the challenge and made donations were: Rahimov and Azerbaijan Taekwondo Federation President Kamaladdin Heydarov, who pledged USD30,000 on behalf of Azerbaijan’s National Olympic Committee, the Azerbaijan Taekwondo Federation and the Azerbaijan Ministry of Youth and Sport; Choue, who pledged USD10,000 on behalf of himself and the WTF staff; Russian Taekwondo Federation President Anatoly Terekhov who pledged USD10,000; WTF Secretary General Hoss Rafaty, who pledged USD5000; and WTF Referee Committee Chairman Chakir Chelbat who pledged USD4500 on behalf of himself and the referees.
In all, over USD60,000 was raised for the THF.
Following the awards, dinner was served. There may be some sore heads tomorrow as the federation returns to business as usual: The 2016 WTF World Taekwondo Team Championships kick off at 10:00 AM on Dec. 12 at the Sardhachi Olympic Center for a two-day run.
[NBC-1TV 박승훈 기자]이종철 미국 뉴저지 팰리세이즈팍 부시장이 타운의회에서 시의장으로 재선출돼 팰팍 타운에서 부시장과 시의장을 겸직하게 됐다. 팰팍 타운의회는 6일 이 부시장의 시의장 임명안을 표결에 부쳐 만장일치로 선임했다. 이 부시장은 지난 2012년에도 시의장직을 수행한 바 있다. 팰팍 시의장은 1년 임기로 타운의회를 이끄는 최고 의사 결정권자로 시장이 공석 등으로 업무를 수행하지 못할 경우 시장 권한대행을 할 수 있다. 한편 이 부시장은 일본군 위안부 기념비를 팰팍시에 세계 최초로 설치했으며, 공립학교에 한글을 제2외국어로 지정하고 한식을 공립학교에 점심 급식으로 제공하는 추진력을 발휘했으며, 팰팍 중심도로에 Korea Way 설치에도 발벗고 나섰다.
[By NBC-1TV K, Y Yi]WUXI, China (Jan 6, 2018) – A highly entertaining second Saturday of the super-elite World Taekwondo (WT) Grand Slam 2017/18 series, which pits the best twelve athletes in each Olympic weight category against each other, took place today, with athletes competing in the Female -67kg and male -68kg categories. In the unpredictable female competition, third seed Ruth Gbagbi of Cote d’Ivoire came out on top after impressively defeating dark horse YunfeiGuo of Team China in the final by 10:6. The Rio 2016 bronze medallist has been in excellent form recently and her fearsome, al
[By NBC-1TV K, Y Yi]WUXI, China (28 Dec. 2017) – Two days before the inaugural edition of the Wuxi 2017 World Taekwondo Grand Slam Champions Series kicks off on Saturday, the WT’s finest athletes and senior officials got their first look at the bespoke venue at a press conference held in the Wuxi Taihu International Expo Center in Wuxi, China. The Grand Slam Series – to be held over five consecutive Saturdays in this city in eastern China–will be fought under amended rules designed to upgrade the sport’s spectacle, and offers the biggest prize money in taekwondo history: USD70,000 for first p
[NBC-1TV 이경찬 기자]문재인 대통령은 2일 오전 국립서울현충원 참배로 새해 첫 공식일정을 시작했다. 문 대통령은 이날 오전 8시 이낙연 국무총리와 김동연 경제부총리, 김상곤 사회부총리, 김부겸 행정안전부 장관을 비롯한 각 국무위원, 임종석 대통령 비서실장 등 20여 명과 함께 현충원을 찾아 현충탑에 헌화하고, 순국선열과 호국영령의 넋을 기렸다. 현충탑에 도착한 문 대통령은 '대통령 문재인'이라고 적힌 화환을 순국선열과 호국영령에게 헌화한 후 분향·묵념했다. 한편 이 총리와 각 국무위원은 미리 현충원에 도착해 문 대통령을 영접했다.
[NBC-1TV 이광윤 보도국장]문재인 대통령이 3박 4일의 중국 국빈방문 일정을 마치고 16일 늦은 밤 서울공항을 통해 귀국했다. 문 대통령의 이번 방문에서는 국빈의전에 심각한 민낯을 보인 중국측의 외교상 결례가 발생하여 양국이 앞으로 풀어야 할 과제가 남게 되었다. 문 대통령은 15일 충칭에 있는 대한민국 임시정부 청사를 방문하고 김구 선생의 흉상에 헌화한 후 독립 유공자 후손들을 만났다. 이어 현대지동차 충칭공장을 방문해 현장 근로자들을 격려하고 협력사 대표들을 만나 양국 경제협력의 가교가 되어달라고 당부했다.