Ung Chang is among four figures to be awarded the OCA Merit Award ©OCA

North Korea's International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Ung Chang is among four officials to have been awarded Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) Merit Awards in recognition of their longstanding contributions to the running of sport across the continent.

Former national basketball team captain Chang has been a member of the Olympic Committee of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea since 1980, serving 13 years as secretary general from 1985 to 1998 before becoming vice-president thereafter, a position he remains in today. 

He became North Korea's representative on the IOC in 1996, and served as an OCA vice-president from 1991 to 1992 before becoming an advisor to President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah thereafter. 

He has also acted as President of the International Taekwon-Do Federation, and has played a key role in recent years in building relations with the IOC-recognised World Taekwondo Federation (WTF), and its President Chungwon Choue.

 Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah presented the awards
Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah presented the awards ©Getty Images

He was joined in being recognised by Pang Chung, who stepped down as secretary general of the National Olympic Committee of Hong Kong earlier this year.

Also honoured was Ibrahim Ismail Ali, the former President of the Maldives Olympic Committee.

Ali also served eight years as a member of the OCA Finance Committee and is considered instrumental in upholding the autonomy of the NOC.

He was joined by Bahrulloh Rajabaliev, the secretary general of the National Olympic Committee of Tajikistan.

Under his stewardship, the Central Asian nation won its first ever Olympic medal, courtesy of under 73 kilogram judoka, Rasul Boqiev, who secured bronze at Beijing 2008.

All four recipients were present to receive their awards here, which were presented by OCA President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, vice-president Timothy Fok and secretary general Randhir Singh.

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