Friday, April 29, 2005

World Championship: Korea clinches overall men’s, women’s team titles

April 17, 2005)

Korea won both men’s and women’s team titles at the 2005 WTF World Taekwondo Championships, which concluded its five-day run here today.

Korean male contestants clinched four gold medals, one silver and one bronze medal, while Korean female players grabbed three gold medals, two silver medals and one bronze medals.

About 1,700 athletes and officials from a record 126 countries attended the championships, which were held at the Palacio de Deportes in downtown Madrid.

Iran earned one gold medal, three silvers and one bronze medal to finish second in the men’s overall team ranking. Spain won one gold, one silver and two bronze medals to finish second in the women’s overall ranking.

The United States and Russia finished fourth and fifth in the overall men’s rankings by hauling two gold medals, and one silver and one bronze medal, respectively.

China, the United States and Mexico finished third, fourth and fifth in the women’s overall rankings.

The Good Fighting Spirit Prizes went to Mali, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan, while the Active Participation Prizes were awarded to South Africa, U.S. Virgin Island, and Chile.

The inaugural President Friendship Awards were given to Algeria, Vietnam, Germany and Canada, each representing the WTF’s four regional unions.

The Best Referee Awards were awarded to six referees: Thekla Oetjens Breitenfeld of Germany, Chakir Chelbat of Sweden, Linda Kwan of Canada, Jose Molero Lopez of Spain, Uwe Otterbein of Cuba and Zhao Lei of China.

The championships saw the introduction of a golden point system in case of a tied match, and the shortened duration of the men’s competition, two of the recommendations proposed by the WTF Reform Committee.

“We are working hard to introduce a new electronic trunk protector system. We are working hard for the betterment of Taekwondo,” said WTF President Chungwon Choue at his closing remarks during the closing ceremony of the championships.

“We ask for your understanding in our pursuit for a better system. This is just the beginning of our reforms,” said Choue, who was reelected to a four-year term at the 17th WTF General Assembly held here on April 12. Choue won an overwhelming 122 votes against a mere 10 votes by Sun Jae Park of Italy.

The WTF Reform Committee produced a package of recommendations on 16 major reform areas, which were unanimously approved by the General Assembly.

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MALAYSIA: MTA may ‘suffer heavy losses’

S. Selvam
Apr 28:

MAGNUM Corporation Berhad have done it, Milo are considering it and the National Sports Council (NSC), understandably, are following recent developments very closely as the Malaysian Taekwondo Association's (MTA) persistent stand against clubs may cost the association dearly, somewhere in the region of RM1.1 million.
Magnum, who were MTA's 'Taja Gemilang' sponsors, withdrew their financial support of RM300,000 a year in a letter to the MTA dated April 8.

According to a Malay Mail report on April 20, Magnum withdrew because the goings on in the MTA appears rather disturbing since the second quarter of last year following the departure of former chairman (Jimmy Khoo) and, later, the premature departure of the president Jen (rtd) Tan Sri Ghazali Seth.

Magnum's sponsorship was supposed to end on Aug 31, 2007.

The MTA were issued a show cause letter by Sports Commissioner Tan Sri Elyas Omar for hindering the development of the sport as the proposed amendments to give clubs voting rights was full of obstacles, contrary to the undertaking given by the MTA on March 15.

Although the MTA replied to the show cause letter, they also served a writ of summons on Elyas and the Malaysian Government last Monday.

But MTA's financial independence could be further curtailed as Milo have indicated they are also evaluating their involvement as a sponsor.

"We have already withdrawn as a sponsor of the National Championshsips (senior category) but this was a decision made much earlier," said Nestle's sports marketing manager Ng Ping Loong.

"However, we are still keen to support the National Youth and the National Inter-Clubs Championships.

"However, recent developments in the sport has changed the whole scenario. As such, we are adopting a wait and see approach."

Last year, Milo's sponsorship with MTA was worth RM100,000 in cash and kind.

But the biggest losers could be the 28 athletes in the various training programmes under the financial support of the NSC.

NSC's budget for taekwondo runs close to RM1 million this year as they look after the training, competition, education and welfare of the two athletes in the elite programme, 10 athletes in the Gemilang 2006 and 16 athletes in the Bukit Jalil Sports School.

Also included in the total funding package is the salary of the three coaches, R. Dhanaraj, K.M. Rajendran and Moi Chee Keong.

The bulk of the expenses goes to the various international tournaments and training stints where approximately RM500,000 has been budgeted for.

On April 13 this year, Sports Minister Datuk Azalina Othman Said issued a stern reminder to the MTA to put their house in order. And if the national body continue to hamper the admission of clubs into their structure or remain defiant to the directives from her or the Sports Commissioner's office, the association can forget about funding from the ministry or the NSC.

Whether that will happen, only time will tell.

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MALAYSIA: Elyas unfazed by writ of summons

By S.Selvam

April 27:

TWO separate issues. That's how Sports Commissioner Tan Sri Elyas Omar describes the writ of summons served on him and the Government of Malaysia by the Malaysian Taekwondo Association (MTA).
And Elyas is determined not to allow the court action to interfere with his responsibility or hinder his duty in ensuring the implementation of the Sports Development Act, 1997.

"The Attorney-General will handle the writ of summons served on the Government and the Sports Commissioner," said Elyas after meeting representatives of the MTA at his office in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

"As far as the show cause letter is concerned, that process has started and will be completed.

"If I'm satisfied with the explanation given by the MTA to the show cause letter, the matter ends there. But if I am not satisfied, then we have to refer to the Act."

The MTA were represented by their president Ho Kam Phaw, chairman Chin Mee Keong, secretary Yeap Swee Bee and former executive secretary T. Kumar.

The MTA were issued a show cause letter by Elyas under Section 20 (1) (e) of the Sports Development Act, 1997, for hindering the development of taekwondo in the country.

This followed after the MTA's proposed constitutional amendments were deemed to be in contrast to Elyas' advice to ensure clubs are given direct affiliation and voting rights in the MTA in a Feb 16 dialogue where he tabled five models of governance.

And on March 15, Mee Keong gave his undertaking at a Press conference that the constitution will be amended to give clubs direct affiliation and voting rights.

However, the MTA hit back at Elyas seeking a detailed explanation before they can make further changes to the proposals.

Before Elyas could do that, the MTA went on the offensive by serving the writ on Elyas and the Government.

"As far as I am concerned, everything was done according to the provisions provided in the Sports Act," added Elyas.

"Today's (yesterday's) meeting was in response to their request for further clarification on the show cause letter. Nothing else, especially pertaining to the court action, was discussed."

Under Section 20 (1) (e) of the Sports Act, Elyas has the authority to revoke or suspend the registration of a sports body if the Commissioner is satisfied that such a sports body is hindering the development of the particular sport and it is in the public interest to revoke or suspend its registration.

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MALAYSIA: PACM "Don't treat clubs as rivals"

By S. Selvam
April 22:

IF State associations keep viewing clubs as 'rivals', Pacesetters Athletics Club Malaysia (PACM) president Munning Jamaludin believes there will always be obstacles in giving clubs voting rights in national associations.
Munning welcomes the proposal by Malaysian AAU (MAAU) deputy president, First Admiral Datuk Danyal Balagopal to consider a national association of clubs as an affiliate, but PACM will only believe it when the amendments are made.

With some 1,200 members, PACM have emerged as one of the most active athletics club in the country.

And while other sports bodies only talk about limiting the term of office bearers, PACM have amended their constitution which allows a president to seek re-election for five consecutive years only.

"We appreciate MAAU's gesture in recognising the contribution of clubs and the proposal to make an association of clubs as an affiliate," said Munning.

"But I believe it is still at the early stages. We have been invited to discuss the matter further and we will definitely do that.

"However, whether the proposal becomes a reality or not, we just have to wait and see."

On Wednesday, Balagopal proposed that clubs consider forming a Malaysian Association of Athletics Clubs in order to be affiliated directly with MAAU.

The call was also in line with Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja'afar's statement that a national association comprising clubs could be a possible solution to the Malaysian Taekwondo Association (MTA) versus Sports Commissioner's office tussle to give clubs direct affiliation with voting rights.

In fact, Elyas even presented MTA with five models of governance, all of which gives clubs voting rights.

Understandably, the models have caused some concern in the MTA as Elyas' proposal gives clubs, subject to fulfilling several crietria, the same number of votes as State bodies.

"As long as they (State associations) view us as competitors, I believe they would resist the amendments," added Munning.

"But we are not here to compete against anybody. We are here to work with the relevant bodies to develop the sport."

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MALAYSIA: MTA just stalling for time?

Comment by S. Selvam

April 22:

"AFTER the dialogue session with the Sports Commissioner, Tan Sri Elyas Omar, on Feb 16, 2005, MTA/WTF has come to fully understand the manner and mechanism of introducing and implementing the Club structure into the MTA/WTF."

This statement was signed by Malaysian Taekwondo Association (MTA) chairman Chin Mee Keong and then acting secretary-general Yeap Swee Bee and distributed to members of the media on March 15 at a Press Conference at the Commissioner's office in Bukit Jalil.

Which is why MTA's reply to the Commissioner's show cause letter, asking for clarification, defies logic.

MTA were issued a show cause letter by Elyas under Section 20 (1) (e) of the Sports Development Act, 1997, for hindering the development of taekwondo in the country.

This followed after MTA's proposed constitutional amendments were deemed to be in contrast to Elyas' advice to ensure clubs are given direct affiliation and voting rights in MTA.

According to a Malay Mail report, MTA's reply to Elyas, among others, stated that the association were perplexed with the contents of Elyas' letter and wanted the Commissioner to explain things further.

"Based on your detailed explanation, we then would be able to clearly identify and make the necessary changes to our proposed amendments so it would not contravene or run foul against the Sports Development Act 1997 or the requirements of your good office," the newspaper quoted a signed statement by MTA president Ho Kam Phaw.

Ho Kam Phaw was also quoted to have said that MTA would like to ensure they did not make hasty changes which they, as the national governing body, may later regret.

All of which, appears that MTA are stalling for time.

Either that, or the MTA chairman and president, have a different understanding of Elyas' presentation on Feb 16.

For the record, Elyas presented MTA officials, State affiliates and clubs five models of governance, all of which provides clubs direct affiliation with voting rights.

On March 15, MTA, based on the same excuse - not wanting to make hasty changes given the magnitude of the decision - got Elyas to let them hold their BGM even without amending their constitution (something which Sports Minister Datuk Azalina Othman Said instructed them to do) with the guarantee that clubs will be given voting rights.

And it is indeed puzzling to note that from fully "understanding the manner and mechanism of implementing the club structure", the MTA are now suddenly confused.

And it looks like it is Elyas who has been slapped with a show cause letter by MTA.

Source from

Monday, April 25, 2005

MALAYSIA: Early exits for our exponents

Saturday April 16, 2005

PETALING JAYA: Taekwondo exponent Elaine Teo's hopes of becoming the first Malaysian woman to win a World Championships medal ended when she bowed out to Thailand's Yaowapa Boorapolchai in the third round of the competition in Madrid on Thursday.

Elaine, who was seen as Malaysia's best bet for a medal, lost 1-4 to the Olympics bronze medallist in the flyweight (Under-51kg) division and the defeat ended her hopes of advancing further in the knock-out competition.

Elaine, the 2004 National Sportswoman of the Year, had notched a 5-3 win over Irina Deregach of Uzbekistan in her opening round and was later handed victory in the next round after her Kenyan opponent was disqualified for an illegal kick.

The defeat is certainly a blow to her confidence, especially during a SEA-Games year.

Elaine is a two-time SEA Games champion but only managed a bronze at the last Games in Vietnam due to a shin injury.

She will surely be aiming to regain the gold medal in the November Games in Manila.

However, her Thai exponent also failed to advance further when she lost to Spain's 2003 world champion Brigitte Yague in the quarter-finals.

Two other Malaysians who saw action on the second day of competition in the world meet also failed to make it into the medal rounds.

2001 SEA Games gold medallist Che Chew Chan was outclassed 3-8 by Sweden's Karolina Kedzierska in the second round of the women's middleweight (Under-72kg) division. Chew Chan had received a first round bye earlier.

Malaysia's Rusfredy Petrus, competing in the men's flyweight (Under-58kg) was a third round casualty, losing 2-7 to Iran's Khadodad Behrad.

Petrus, whose elder brother died of malaria while representing the country in a competition in Vietnam in 1997, had secured a first round bye and went on to edge a Brazilian exponent 7-6.

National coach R. Dhanaraj, in a telephone interview from Madrid yesterday, said Elaine did not have the luck of the draw.

“She was drawn against two Olympic medallists in her half.

“I hope Elaine does not take the defeat too hard and continue working towards the SEA Games.

“Rusfredy was also unlucky to lost to the Iranian, who eventually went on to win the silver medal (after losing 7-8 to South Korean Seok Hwa-ko).”

Malaysian challenge now remains in the hands of Noornadia Norrizan and R. Surendran (bantamweight), who are both competing today.

The 18-year-old Noornadia, who won the gold in the South-east Asian championships in Jakarta last December, will make her World Championships debut in the bantamweight division (Under-55kg).

Surendran is competing in the men's bantamweight division (Under-62kg) but he is not expected to make headway in a field of 79 participants.

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