South Korea's Jun Jang was named the male athlete of the year at the World Taekwondo Gala Awards ©World Taekwondo

Jang Jun of South Korea and Panipak Wongpattanakit of Thailand were named male and female athlete of the year at the annual World Taekwondo Gala Awards in Moscow.

Jang earned gold in the men's under-58 kilogram category at May's World Taekwondo Championships in Manchester, also triumphing at the Rome, Chiba and Sofia Grand Prix events this year. 

Wongpattanakit claimed her second successive world title in the women's under-49kg event, also winning the Chiba Grand Prix.

In Kyo-don of South Korea, men's over-80kg world bronze medallist, was awarded kick of the year. 

Russia was awarded the Member National Association (MNA) of the year in recognition of the outstanding work they have done in promoting taekwondo and the success of their national team. 

The Most Improved MNA of the year went to Brazil.

Reza Mehmandoust won coach of the year for Azerbaijan, while the female referee of the year award was presented to Ksenia Levai of Serbia and the male referee of the year accolade went to Denis Kim of Russia. 

Kazakhstan’s Ruslan Zhaparov and Great Britain’s Mahama Cho won the fair play award in recognition of their display of sportsmanship at the end of their semi-final match at the Rome Grand Prix. 

World Taekwondo President Choue Chung-won offered his congratulations to the Gala Award-winners in Moscow ©World Taekwondo
World Taekwondo President Choue Chung-won offered his congratulations to the Gala Award-winners in Moscow ©World Taekwondo

After a grueling and close-fought match, the Kazakh and Briton warmly embraced and both dropped to the floor in the centre of the mat to perform a short prayer.

Choue then awarded International University Sports Federation President, Oleg Matytsin, with an honorary seventh dan black belt certificate. 

"Congratulations to all our awardees this evening, whose performances and contributions over the course of this year have made them deserving winners of these prestigious awards," World Taekwondo President Choue Chung-won said.

"But tonight is not just about those who won awards - it is about everyone in our global taekwondo family. 

"It is about all the athletes whose dedication inspires us and whose performances captivate us. 

"It is about the coaches who work tirelessly to ensure that our athletes fulfil their enormous potential. 

"It is about the referees who make sure our competitions are fair and practiced in the true spirit of friendship and respect. 

"And it is about our MNA whose invaluable hard work, 365 days a year, makes our sport the global success that it is today."