WTF President Chungwon Choue today awarded Russian President Vladimir Putin an honorary 9thdan (degree) black belt certificate and a taekwondo dobok (uniform) in recognition of President Putin's work in developing taekwondo in Russia.
The presentation was made at a ceremony held at the Lotte Hotel in downtown Seoul during President Putin's one-day state visit to South Korea. During the ceremony President Putin thanked WTF President Choue for his ongoing commitment to the development of sports. President Putin also revealed that he is "actively supporting the development of martial arts, including taekwondo, in Russia" and asked if President Choue would support him in his efforts.
Following the ceremony, President Choue said:
"We are so grateful to President Putin for the commitment he has shown in promoting taekwondo in Russia and we are delighted to hear that he wants to continue to develop the sport in his country in the future. Russia is an incredibly important country for our sport and we are sure that, with the President's endorsement and support, it will continue to evolve rapidly over the coming years.
"As we celebrate the 40th year of WTF, we can be hugely proud of the progress we have made. However, we know there is always more that can be done and we remain dedicated to ensuring that people from all over the world can enjoy and have access to taekwondo."
Russia recently demonstrated its growing passion for taekwondo by formally declaring an interest in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kazan hosting WTF Taekwondo Grand Prix series over the next three years.