WTF officials and ambassadors attending the governing body's year-end part in Seoul ©WTF

World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) President Chungwon Choue has welcomed 20 Seoul-based ambassadors to the body's headquarters, thanking them for their contributions to a "universal sport". 

The reception took place at the new WTF office in the South Korean capital, which is situated close to Gyeongbokgung Palace, the royal residence around which the city was constructed in the 14th century.

“I know you are all busy ambassadors, so it is wonderful to have you here,” said Choue, in a speech delivered after a short informational film about the WTF's work in 2015.

“Taekwondo started in Korea, but it is not Korean anymore - it is universal.”

Ambassadors were full of praise for the WTF's work, with the Jordanian Ambassador to South Korea Omar Al-Nahar describing taekwondo as a sport that "really brings people together".

“Taekwondo is diversity” added the Mexican Ambassador, Jose Luis Bernal Rodriguez, while Azerbaijani representative Ramzi Teymurov sees it as “peaceful fighting.”

The WTF Humanitarian Foundation has been a major priority for the WTF and President Chungwon Choue in recent months ©WTF
The WTF Humanitarian Foundation has been a major priority for the WTF and President Chungwon Choue in recent months ©WTF

It comes after a busy and successful year for the Federation, in which the sport has been added to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic programme and the Taekwondon Humanitarian Foundation project has been introduced.

President Choue also addressed the United Nations on the sport's work for wider development in New York.

On the mat, the year was headlined by the World Championships in Chelyabink, as well as WTF Grand Prix events in Moscow, Samsun and Manchester.

The WTF Series will conclude with a final in Mexico City next month, where a WTF World Cup event will also be held.

Next year promises to be equally busy, with the Rio 2016 Olympic competition taking place and the Humanitarian Foundation due to begin full-scale operations, taking the sport into refugee camps worldwide.

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