SINGAPORE (Jun 25, 2023) - The inaugural Virtual Taekwondo competition in the Olympic Esports Series drew to a successful close today with Singapore’s junior male athlete Nigel Tan claiming the first ever gold trophy at the Suntec Center in Singapore.
The 15 year old overcame Singaporean female athlete of the same age, Natalie Tor, 2-1 in the final showcasing how Virtual Taekwondo allows people of all ages and genders to compete against one another without barriers.
This was Singapore's first trophies in any of the sports featured at the Olympic Esports Week.
The event had featured eight retired Taekwondo ”legends” and eight local junior athletes, with the preliminaries taking place on 23 June and the quarterfinals and medal rounds on 25 June.
Virtual Taekwondo makes use of cutting edge technology to track the players actions with players wearing headsets and motion-tracking nodes in their hands and on their shins. The objective is to contest and finish the opponent’s health bar, or have the highest health bar at the end of the round in best of three rounds.
While Virtual Taekwondo replicates the reality of Taekwondo, the Taekwondo legends were not as successful in their transition to the virtual world and only two, Jingyu Wu(CHN) and Nur Tatar(TUR), progressed to the quarter finals. Losing out to Tan and Tor in the respective semi finals, Tatar and Wu met in the third place match as they battled for bronze. With four Olympic medals between them it truly was the battle of two legends of the sport, but two-time Olympic champion Wu proved too strong and won the match 2-0.
World Taekwondo President Chungwon Choue said:
“The inaugural Virtual Taekwondo competition at the Olympic Esports Series was a great success and demonstrated how fun, inclusive and exciting the sport is. It is every Taekwondo athletes’ dream to compete against legends they have looked up to and this competition allowed young Singaporeans to do just that. However, not only did they compete but they excelled showing in Virtual Taekwondo age, gender and size do not matter; anyone can win. This is how inclusive Virtual Taekwondo can be. We congratulate the medallists and all those who contributed to a very successful event.”