DUSHANBE, April 21, 2014, Asia-Plus – Tajik national team won 13 medals, including four gold, five silver and three bronze, on the first day of the 7th Asian ITF Taekwon-Do Championship that is being held in Nepal

“The tournament kicked off in Katmandu on April 20 and 43 players from Tajikistan are participating in this tournament,” Mirsaid Yahyoyev, Chairman of Tajikistan’s Federation of ITF Taekwondo and Kickboxing, told Asia-Plus in an interview.

Supported by Asia Taekwondo Federation (ATF), which is affiliated to the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF), the championship will run through April 23.

In all, 330 players from 20 countries of the world, including, North Korea, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, India, and Mongolia among others, are participating in the event.  The players are competing in four different categories—Sparring, Patron, Self Defense and Special Technic during which they are vying for 74 gold medals.

International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) is a taekwondo organization founded on April 11, 1966, by General Choi Hong Hi in Seoul, South Korea.  The ITF exists to promote and encourage the growth of the Korean martial art of taekwondo. After the South Korean Government abandoned the ITF, the government established the World Taekwondo Federation to continue the mission of taekwondo''s globalization.  Once General Choi Hong Hi was exiled out of South Korea, he established the new headquarters of the ITF in Vienna, Austria and the organization settled there.  In 2001, the ITF Congress voted for General Choi Hong Hi as President for four years of the six-year term, then for his son (Choi Jung Hwa) to serve as President for the remaining two years.  This was overturned (whether legally or illegally is disputed) by General Choi, causing a rift between himself and his son.  Choi Jung Hwa split away from his father and created another organization, which Choi Jung Hwa claimed to be the true ITF.  While the majority of the TKD world stayed with General Choi, many others decided to follow Choi Jung Hwa.  General Choi subsequently died in June 2002, having never reconciled with his son.  On his deathbed in June 2002, General Choi allegedly said that he wanted a man known as Chang Ung, a North Korean IOC member, to take over as President.  An Extraordinary Congress of the ITF was called with Chang Ung declared as the new President; but the legality of this Congress is disputed.  Those claiming that the Congress was illegal (i.e. against the ITF''s Constitution) held another Congress, at which Master Tran Trieu Quan (an 8th degree black belt) was elected as President.  Thus there are now three organizations claiming to be the ITF.  ITF''s main functions are to coordinate and approve tournaments and seminars, set standards for teaching (patterns, sparring, destruction), collaborate with affiliated member organizations, and service members in regards to rank and certifications.