December 7 - The President of the Badminton World Federation (BWF), Kang Young Joong, is to step down next year and will not seek re-election, it has been announced today.
The South Korean's decision follows the controversy that marred the sport at the London 2012 Olympics, where four women's doubles teams were disqualified for match-fixing and which has led to a change in the rules for Rio 2016.
But Kang was, understandably, keener to emphasise the positive aspects of what had happened since he was elected in 2005 having previously served as President of both Korea Badminton Association and Asian Badminton Confederation.
He pointed to record commercial profits, greater number of development and coaching programmes taking place and badminton's popularity on global rise.
The South Korean informed members of the BWF's ruling Council of his decision during its meeting in Bangkok last week.
A successor will be chosen by the BWF at its annual meeting in Kuala Lumpur on May 18, 2013.
"The time is right for transition now that BWF is in a stable position and on a positive path with good long-term strategies in place," said Kang.
"My goal was to leave BWF in a solid financial position and we have reached that stage."
One of the biggest successes that Kang has overseen has been the introduction in 2007 of the World Superseries, the implementation of the school-oriented "Shuttle Time" development programme worldwide and the start of BWF's online channel "BadmintonTV".
"There is even more interest in badminton in our strong Asian markets now, and also throughout the globe, which is ultimately important," he said.
"We have more players in tournaments and the competition is fierce among organisers to be part of the BWF World Superseries circuit.
"The future looks bright for the BWF and badminton.
"This is the start of a new Olympic cycle and soon a new BWF World Superseries cycle in 2014.
"We are a well-governed sports body and we are going into elections next year.
"Our membership needs appropriate time to consider candidates for the Presidency.
"Succession and transition should take place when an organisation is doing well – and we are - so this is the right time to signal my intentions and let that process start taking place."
Kang also claimed to have been pleased with the success of London 2012, despite it being totally overshadowed by the match-fixing row.
"Our presentation of Olympic badminton was executed to world-class standards and we must continually strive for that level of professionalism and precision in everything we do," he said.
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