London to host Para taekwondo Worlds

WTF President says 2017 World Championships expected to be the biggest Para taekwondo event to date. 19 Jan 2017
Lisa Gjessing - Taekwondo

Lisa Gjessing is one of the sport's superstars ahead of Tokyo 2020

ⒸWorld Taekwondo Federation
By World Taekwondo Federation

“It’s fantastic news London has been chosen to host both the 2017 World Taekwondo Grand Prix and the WTF World Para Taekwondo Championships.”

The World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) has announced that London, Great Britain, will host the 2017 World Para Taekwondo Championships, which will be held 19 October at the Copperbox Arena in Queen Elizabeth Park.

This is the first time London will host the event, and it will run in conjunction with the WTF World Taekwondo Grand Prix.

The successful bid comes less than two months after the sport’s world governing body awarded the World Taekwondo Championship to Manchester in 2019.

The WTF’s decision is a major boost for the sport in Great Britain at the start of a new four-year cycle concluding with Tokyo 2020, where Para taekwondo will make its Paralympic debut.

“It’s great news, not only for me but Para taekwondo,” said British Para taekwondo athlete Amy Truesdale, who completed her European Championship hat-trick last September.

“It will be fantastic to have the support of a home crowd for a change. And hopefully the Championships and Grand Prix will showcase the sport to a wider audience and encourage more people to participate.

“Tokyo does seem a long way off at the moment,” added Truesdale, a winner of a an able-bodied national title in 2015. “But these World Championships will be an important first step for me in terms of qualification.”

Truesdale won two World silver medals and one bronze medal in the past seven years, but this year the 27-year-old is delighted by the prospect of fighting in front of a home crowd.

A taekwondo practitioner since the age of eight, Truesdale now trains three days a week at the National Performance Centre in Manchester – home of double Olympic champion, Jade Jones and Rio 2016 medalists, Lutalo Muhammad and Bianca Walkden.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has welcomed the award of the World Championship to the capital.

“It’s fantastic news London has been chosen to host both the 2017 World Taekwondo Grand Prix and the WTF World Para Taekwondo Championships,” he said.

“We have been working closely with GB Taekwondo and UK Sport on developing and increasing levels of participation in this fantastic sport in London, and staging major sports competitions like this reinforces our reputation as a world-class host.

“I look forward to welcoming taekwondo fans from around the world to our great city and it’s a great opportunity to build on the success of our record-breaking Olympians as well as showcasing this exciting sport in London.”

Awarding the Para Taekwondo World Championships to London, WTF President Chungwon Choue said: “This marks the perfect start of the Paralympic cycle for the athletes in sport classes competing in Kyorugi aiming to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games.

“The Championships will also feature Poomsae competitions for sport classes for athletes with an intellectual impairment and motor impairments.

“Para taekwondo has developed extensively in the past few years and I am certain that London and GB Taekwondo will provide the perfect stage for the athletes to perform, in what is expected to be the biggest Para taekwondo event to date.”