The 3rd European Para-Taekwondo Championships drew to a triumphant close last night as the record-breaking event showcased the sport’s universality with athletes from seven different countries returning home as medallists.
A record 75 male and female athletes from 15 countries competed across four classifications and six weight categories during the elite, one-day event. With 50% more athletes participating at this year’s Championships compared to the previous edition, more athletes competed in each division making the event more competitive and of a higher standard than ever before. Classification research and the WTF’s ongoing injury surveillance system were implemented throughout the Championships to help refine the WTF’s Classification Rules and ensure athletes’ safety.
The following athletes won gold medals at the Championships:
Following the successful conclusion of the Championships, the WTF Para-Taekwondo Committee met today for an official debrief and to discuss the action plan for the sport’s development. Amongst the key topics discussed were the world-ranking system for Para-Taekwondo which they hope to introduce next year and the ongoing evidence-based classification research.
WTF President Chungwon Choue said:
“The 3rd European Para-Taekwondo Championships have been a great success and arguably one of the best continental para-taekwondo championships. The appetite that exists for para-taekwondo not just in Europe but worldwide is clear and we are working hard to ensure that we are delivering para-taekwondo championships on every continent to meet this demand”.
“This is a very exciting time for para-taekwondo. We are experiencing a dramatic rise in participation as more and more of our 206 national federations are recognising the power the sport has to engage with a whole new group of athletes. As we look to create new international championships we will provide more opportunities for our athletes to participate in elite competitions. We hope that we will have the honour of being included in the 2020 Paralympic Programme to give our athletes the opportunity to compete at the very pinnacle of Paralympic sport.”
Speaking after the meeting, Para-Taekwondo Committee chairman Koos Engelbrecht added:
“The 3rd European Para-Taekwondo Championships were a very well organised event. We have seen a huge increase in participation and a very high level of competition. The Championships showcased the great potential of taekwondo to become a world combat sport for para-athletes and at the WTF we are doing everything we can to achieve this.”