April 18 - Chungwon Choue is set to face another South Korean candidate as he seeks a fourth term as President of the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF), it has been reported.
Choue (pictured top), first elected to the top role in 2004, is to be challenged by Hong Moon-jong, a member of South Korea's National Assembly.
Hong has called for a "single candidacy", meaning that he wants Choue to step aside to give him a free run at the Presidency when the election is held at the WTF General Assembly in Puebla, Mexico, on July 14 on the eve of the World Championships.
But Choue has made it clear that he will not pull out to allow Hong to take over.
"There's no need to force the issue and unify candidacy," Choue told Yonhap News.
"Candidates should lay down their own policy goals and try to win support."
Hong, a 57-year-old graduate of Stanford and Harvard Universities, is reportedly close to new South Korean President Geun-Hye Park and was involved in her successful election campaign.
The official deadline for candidates to put themselves forward was last Friday (April 12) but the WTF will not reveal publicly until May 13 when all its members have been informed.
Choue was first elected nine years ago when he replaced the controversial Kim Un-yong after he was arrested on embezzlement and bribery charges in South Korea, which ultimately led to him being expelled from the International Olympic Committee.
Choue completed the year that Kim had left on his term and was re-elected in 2005 for a four year mandate, and then another one in 2009.
Under Choue, taekwondo is widely considered to have grown into more of a global sport, leading it to retaining its place among the Olympic core sports after Rio 2016 having initially been believed to have been under serious threat.
Among the innovations overseen by Choue has been the adoption by the WTF of the electronic protective vests and socks for scoring, along with instant video replays, helping eliminate the judging controversies which had overshadowed the tournament at Beijing in 2008.
The scoring system was also changed ahead of London 2012, with fighters earning a maximum four points for a turning kick to the head, compared to a maximum two points for a kick to the head in Beijing.
The new scoring system left the competition wide open and led to some high-scoring bouts and come-from-behind victories as the eight gold medals in London were shared by eight different countries, making the sport one of the most universial on the Olympic programme.
"By the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, taekwondo will have improved even more," Choue told Yonhap News.
Hong has pledged that the WTF will sign broadcasting deals with major international networks and will open taekwondo schools on each continent.
The WTF has appointed IOC member Ivan Dibos, one of six WTF vice presidents, as the chairman of the Ad-Hoc Elections Committee.
Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]