Since 1983, the Pan Am Games has included kyorugi (sparring) competition; currently, kyorugi encompasses four male and four female Olympic weight categories, for a total of eight medal events. As of 2019, poomsae (solo form) competition will be added to the program, offering four medal events: Male individual traditional; female individual traditional; pairs traditional (same athletes as individuals); and freestyle team (five persons; two male, three female).
“It is important to highlight that Poomsae, as a sport discipline, will be part of the sports program for the first time in the history of the Pan American Games, proving to be an important milestone in the development of the discipline within the region,” wrote Lima 2019 Operations Chief Carlos Manuel Lazarte Labarthe in a Sept. 27 letter to World Taekwondo Pan America President Ji-ho Choi.
WT President Chungwon Choue hailed the development as ”wonderful” news for the sport.
“This is wonderful news for our poomsae athletes in Pan America, and will also, we hope, provide an excellent model, so that other continental games will consider the inclusion of poomsae competition on their programs,” he said. “The addition of poomsae to the Pan Am Games, and the successful inauguration of Beach Taekwondo competition by WT in Rhodes, Greece, earlier this year, demonstrates that the competitive space for our great poomsae athletes is increasing and expanding worldwide.”
Choue also expressed his thanks to World Taekwondo Pan America and to the Organizing Committee of Lima 2019. “All those at World Taekwondo Pan America, notably Ji-ho Choi, and at Lima 2019 who were involved in this decision deserve the gratitude not only of World Taekwondo, but also of poomsae athletes across the Pan-American region,” he said.