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PYONGYANG, September 13 (Itar-Tass) — Athletes participating in the 17th world championship in taekwondo, a Korean national martial art, have sent a letter to the North Korean leader Kim Jong Il with expressions of gratitude for the attention he paid to the prestigious international tournament that waved the mottoes of justice, peace, friendship, and unity.
The championship was held from September 8 through September 12.
The letter also says the event reaffirmed the resolve of athletes from many countries of the world to take steps towards further development of this antient Korean martial art.
North Korean government organized a reception for the athletes upon the completion of the championship.
The perfectly trained wrestlers from North Korea became the leaders of the championship with 19 golds, three silver and three bronze medals. The Russians occupied the second position from the top with five, twelve and four medals respectively.
The third place in the list of national teams was taken by athletes from Tajikistan who also showed perfect training.
Russia sent the most populous team of thirty athletes to the competitions. The wrestlers represented the sports clubs from Moscow, St Petersburg, Perm, Kostroma, Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk, Nalchik, as well as the East-Siberian region of Buryatia and Chechnya.
Out the 80 countries whose teams came to the Pyongyang championship, the best results were also shown by the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Croatia, Bulgaria, and Uzbekistan.
"On the whole, we're satisfied with our athletes' performance here," Alexander Systsov, the chief coach of the Russian team told Itar-Tass. "That they did quite well here can be seen from a big number of medals they got."
Upon return home, the team will start training for a European championship, due next year in Bulgaria.
Also, the team is expected to make a trip to Argentina where a competition of five taekwondo teams, including the Russia and North Korean ones, is due to be held, Systsov said.