The World Taekwondo Federation has posted an article, in its official website, about of the recent third edition of the Islamic Solidarity Games were Taekwondo reinforced its status as a sport for all nations and religions – a multi-sport event for elite athletes from the Organisation of the Islamic Conference.
This year’s Games were held from 22 September – 1 October in Palembang, South Sumatra, and home fans had plenty to celebrate during the four days of taekwondo events as Indonesian athletes won 11 medals, including three golds. The hosts were only bettered in taekwondo by Iran who took home 16 medals, 12 of which were gold. Bouts were fought across eight weight categories for men and women in individual, team and pair events.
The Organisation of the Islamic Conference currently has 57 member countries and all citizens from these countries, regardless of faith, are eligible to compete in the Games. This year, 168 athletes from 30 countries including Gambia, Libya, Mali, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Brunei Darussalam, Morocco and Azerbaijan participated in taekwondo.
President of the World Taekwondo Federation, Chungwon Choue, said:
“It is fantastic for taekwondo to be part of these Games as they bring athletes together no matter what religion they are or under what flag they compete. The World Taekwondo Federation promotes Olympic values throughout our sport and seeks to use taekwondo to bring people together in respect of each other’s diversity. Taekwondo is a sport for all nationalities which offers universal opportunities, regardless of race, gender, social status or religion. There were some true taekwondo role models competing in Indonesia this weekend such as Dieye Balla from Senegal (M-68kg), Isayev Radik of Azerbaijan (M-87kg) Issam Chernoubi from Morocco (M-87kg) and Bagheri Motamed Mohammad from Iran (M-68). The way these athletes conduct themselves during competition, and the way they train and promote taekwondo to a wider audience, is a great example for our young athletes and fans from Muslim countries, and countries around the world, to follow. I want to thank all the taekwondo athletes who have competed at this year’s Islamic Solidarity Games. The competition has been intense and all our athletes have strongly represented the sport’s values at this excellent event.”