Igor Iuzefovici received an honorary diploma in Moldova ©WTE

World Taekwondo Europe vice president Igor Iuzefovici has been awarded an honorary diploma for growing the sport in his home country Moldova. 

Independence Day saw the first presentation of such awards by the chairman of the country's Parliament, Andrian Candu.

He presented the Medal of Democracy award and honorary diploma to Iuzefovici, who is also the President of the Moldovan governing body,

"It's nice to realize that the Moldovan Parliament gave such a high appraisal of the development of taekwondo," he said.

"Thank you for your trust; we will try to justify the hopes placed on us in the future. 

"In recent years, we have been able to multiply our achievements through optimism and a well-coordinated team. 

"We are working in order to promote Moldovan sport and we are confident that Moldova will become as we wish."

Aaron Cook has boosted taekwondo in Moldova after switching to the country ©Getty Images
Aaron Cook has boosted taekwondo in Moldova after switching to the country ©Getty Images

Iuzefovici was the only nominee in the promoting Moldovan sport category.

The transfer to Moldova of elite British-born athlete Aaron Cook has been seen as a boost to the sport in the country. 

Cook, a three-time European champion, switched alliegances after a fall-out with GB Taekwondo.

He was the first representative for Moldova in taekwondo at the Olympic Games, when he appeared at Rio 2016.

However, he lost his opening bout in the men's 80 kilograms category.

Cook has won bronze medals at two World Championships for Moldova.

A further sign of the growth of the sport in the country was the hosting of the International G-1 Moldova Open Tournament in Chisinau. 

More than 400 athletes from 35 countries took part.