World Taekwondo President Chungwon Choue praised the athletes who showcased the very best of taekwondo in Tokyo and contributed to an unforgettable Olympic Games for the sport.
The taekwondo competitions saw some of the most exciting and dramatic matches ever witnessed at an Olympic Games and captured the imagination of millions of existing and new fans around the world. As ever, taekwondo demonstrated its universality as 21 National Olympic Committees – more than one third of the countries competing in taekwondo in Tokyo – won Olympic medals.
Out of the eight golds available, seven were won by different countries. This included Uzbekistan, Thailand, Croatia and ROC all of which had never won an Olympic gold in taekwondo before. North Macedonia claimed a silver medal which was the country’s first Olympic silver medal in any sport. Israel also secured a historic first medal in taekwondo at the Olympic Games with a bronze. Refugee athlete Kimia Alizadeh Zenoorin also nearly became the first ever medallist from the Olympic Refugee Team after an exceptional run to the bronze medal matches, but just fell short.
The competitions in Tokyo were also remembered for the exciting emergence of a new generation of champions, including five medallists who had medalled either at the World Taekwondo Junior Championships or the Youth Olympic Games, both held in 2018.
Speaking following the conclusion of the Olympic taekwondo competitions, World Taekwondo President Choue said:
“The Olympic taekwondo at Tokyo 2020 was great. Our athletes reminded us all why taekwondo is such a well loved sport around the world. There was last-second drama, shock defeats and breath-taking athleticism all set against the sport’s values of friendship and respect.
“Once again, we saw that taekwondo is a sport which is universal and provides opportunities for all countries – big and small. We saw teenagers emerge and challenge the established stars of our sport. This led to very exciting matches and some surprising results but it also showed us what a bright future taekwondo has with so much talent coming through. Many countries won their first ever Olympic medals in taekwondo and this reflects that the sport is developing well and getting stronger globally.
“Of course, we missed having our fans in the stadium but we felt their support from all around the world. We only had to look on social media to see how much love there was for taekwondo, and not just from existing fans but lots of new ones who got swept up in the buzz around the sport. I am sure the legacy of Tokyo 2020 will be many more people practising taekwondo around the world.”