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Taekwondo: AJTA names new president following athlete training dispute

All Japan Taekwondo Association President Noboru Kanehara speaks to reporters in Tokyo on Oct. 28, 2019. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The All Japan Taekwondo Association named a new president and 10 other new directors Tuesday in the wake of major turmoil stemming from a dispute over training policies for athletes.

The AJTA board of directors approved the appointment of new President Koji Kimura, who currently serves as an honorary vice president of the Japan Table Tennis Association.

Two-time Olympic judo silver medalist Yoko Tanabe, as well as former Olympic discus and hammer thrower Yuka Murofushi, were among the new directors appointed from outside the association.

A panel of outside experts responsible for selecting the new directors last month decided not to reappoint President Noboru Kanehara after many of the country's top taekwondo competitors questioned the AJTA's developmental policies and staged a boycott of a training camp in September.

The AJTA called for the mass resignation of its entire board of directors, including Kanehara, in late October.

Masaki Sakaida, a lawyer heading the panel, said he hoped the new appointments would instill confidence in the association.

"We feel a sense of relief and hope the new directors can build on the work of their predecessors," Sakaida said.

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