The 2013 World Cup Taekwondo Team Championships got underway in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, today in front of a passionate home crowd, further reinforcing taekwondo’s global reach and worldwide popularity.
Over 170 male and female athletes from 15 different countries are set to compete at the Palais des Sports venue in Abidjan over the next three days. Athletes from the host nation, Cote d’Ivoire, will take to the mat against national teams from all over the world, including Brazil, China, France, Korea, Mexico, Russia, Spain and the USA, as they look to win gold on home soil. They will also have the chance to compete against teams from closer to home as fellow African nations Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Mali, Nigeria and Senegal are all represented at the Championships.
Speaking in Abidjan, WTF President Chungwon Choue said:
“It gives me great pleasure to be here in Abidjan for the 2013 World Cup Taekwondo Team Championships. Taekwondo has a very special relationship with Africa and we are delighted to be able to reward the loyal support here. The growth of taekwondo in Africa over the last two decades has been extraordinary; the WTF now has 49 African Member National Associations.
“Speaking to athletes and spectators it is clear to see the appetite and passion for taekwondo that exists in Africa. Just yesterday afternoon, a ceremony was held to commemorate the laying of the first stone of the Taekwondo Palace which will serve as a base for the development of taekwondo in Cote d’Ivoire for many years to come.
“Hosting world-class competitions like the World Cup Taekwondo Team Championships across the world will only increase the global reach of our sport. I have no doubt that over the next three days Abidjan will host an excellent event which will be contested in the spirit of friendship and fair play.”