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S. Korean city to stage 8-day int'l martial arts event

All Headlines 15:35 July 12, 2019

CHEONGJU, South Korea, July 12 (Yonhap) -- An international martial arts competition will kick off in central South Korea late next month, bringing together some 4,000 fighters and officials from across the world, organizers said Friday.

The South Korean city of Chungju, 147 kilometers south of Seoul in the central province of North Chungcheong, will stage the World Martial Arts Masterships from Aug. 30 to Sept. 6 with programs in a total of 20 non-Western martial arts, including taekwondo, wushu, judo, kendo, muay thai, ju-jitsu and kickboxing, offered.

Dubbed the Martial Arts Olympics, the South Korean government-approved event is sponsored by the Global Association of International Sports Federation.

The event is expected to draw top-notch martial artists worldwide, who include Kenji Takeish and Koji Uematsu, champions in the kata judo category.

In the category of savate, a French combat sport that uses the hands and feet as weapons, combining elements of English boxing with graceful kicking techniques, top-class practitioners Mohamed Diaby of Mali and Maria Musa of Algeria will be competing.

Sambo fighters, including the top-ranked Laure Fournier of France and third-ranked Viktor Reshko of Latvia, will be featured in the Russian combat sport.

This image, released by the North Chungcheong provincial government, shows the mascots for the World Martial Arts Masterships that will run in the central city of Chungju from Aug. 30-Sept. 6, 2019. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

European champion Mirmanis Iliadis of Greece will wow the crowd in kurash, a traditional wrestling that originated in Uzbekistan, while the category of ju-jitsu, a martial art in Japan, will be taken part in by first-ranked Amal Amjahid of Belgium and Sung Ki-ra of South Korea, who won the gold medal in the Jakarta-Palembang 2018 Asian Games.

A ranking point system, which has been applied to the Olympics, the world championships and the Asian Games, is used for the martial arts event's nine categories, including taekwondo, ju-jitsu, muay thai, savate and pencak silat. The system will be applied to the taekwondo poomsae event for the first time, and the team winners of taekwondo kyorugi, a type of full-contact sparring, will earn an automatic berth in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The organizing committee has adopted the system of a video review for the competition, or video assistant referee, hoping instant replay of all programs will elevate the level of fairness.

The Korea Anti-Doping Agency will conduct doping tests for medalists of different weight classes in eight categories affiliated with the World Anti-Doping Agency, including taekwondo, muay thai, savate, wushu and belt wrestling. Random doping tests on all of the players will be implemented during the event.

Lee Jae-young, chief of the organizing committee, said, "We will devote our resources and might to the international event to make it a success."

This undated photo, released by the North Chungcheong provincial government, shows players of taekkyeon, a traditional Korean martial art, taking part in the World Martial Arts Masterships (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

namsh@yna.co.kr
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