LAUSANNE, Switzerland (April 13, 2016) - The first of five Continental Para-Taekwondo Open Championships set to take place this year will get underway next week as the world’s best para-taekwondo athletes prepare to compete for gold at the 2nd Asian Para-Taekwondo Open Championships.
The Championships, organized by the Philippine Taekwondo Federation and promoted by the Asian Taekwondo Union, will be held at the Marriott Convention Center, in Manilla, Philippines on April 18, 2016. A total of 54 athletes from 13 countries are set to compete at the event compared to 20 athletes from 9 countries at last year’s inaugural Championships, reflecting the continuing growth of the sport all around the world.
World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) President Chungwon Choue said:
“We are delighted to see that para-taekwondo is continuing to grow around the world and I have no doubt that this year’s Asian Para-Taekwondo Open Championships will build on the success of last year’s inaugural competition. It was a huge honor for para-taekwondo to be included on the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games sports program last year and we have worked hard to build on this momentum and realize the sport’s global potential.
“We know that there is still a lot of room for further growth but hosting world-class competitions in every continent will provide an international platform for para-taekwondo athletes to showcase their talent and inspire more people to get involved in the sport.”
The 2nd Asian Para-Taekwondo Open Championships will be open to participants all around the world as part of the WTF’s commitment to providing athletes with regular access to world-class competitions. However, athletes from Asia at the Championships will have the chance to secure twice as many ranking points as participants from other continents with Asian athletes being awarded G4 World Ranking points while non-Asian athletes will be awarded G2 World Ranking points. A first placed athlete will earn 40 points if he or she is from Asia and 20 points if he or she is from another continent. The World Rankings will form part of the qualification process for taekwondo athletes at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Notable athletes competing for the top honors at the Championships include current World Champion and world number one in the men’s K44 Under 61kg category, Bolor-Erdene Ganbat of Mongolia; and World Champion and world number one in the men’s K44 Under 75kg, Mahdi Pourrahnama of Iran.
The 2nd Asian Para-Taekwondo Open Championships along with the African, Pan American, European and Oceania Championships will provide an opportunity for taekwondo Para athletes from all corners of the world to gain experience at the highest international level. The next Continental Championships to take place will be the first ever African Para-Taekwondo Championships and will be held on May 22, 2016 in Egypt.