The World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) has announced the Para taekwondo world rankings for March with several changes after the first international competition of the year was held at the 2017 US Open Para Taekwondo in Las Vegas, USA.
The US Open saw matches across various Kyorugi classes and Poomsae P20 (intellectually impaired) and P30 (motor impaired) classes. A total of 25 athletes – including 12 competing at an international Para taekwondo event for the first time – from nine different countries spanning three continents took part in the event.
Notable results from the Open included:
• Japan claimed the first ever gold medal in a Para taekwondo event as Chikara Ito took the top honours in themen’s under 61kg K44
• Jamaica’s Shauna-Kay Hines won silver in the women’s under 58kg K44 in her first ever appearance at a WTF Para taekwondo event
• 2016 Pan American Para Taekwondo Open Champion, Honduras’ Guillermo Erazo Schauer, was unable to repeat last year’s success at the Pan American Para Taekwondo Open and had to settle for silver in the men’s P20 competition
• Sheng-Ting Chen became Chinese Taipei’s first ever Para taekwondo Kyorugi athlete to compete internationally and finished fifth in the men’s over 75kg K44
• Canada’s Anthony Cappello was unable to overcome France’s Bopha Kong in the men’s under 61kg K43 at the third attempt following losses at the 2016 Pan American Para Taekwondo Open and 2016 European Para Taekwondo Open and had to settle for silver
• The US’s Alyssa Fencil, made her first appearance at a WTF Para Taekwondo event and in a surprise victory, defeated the world No. 3, France’s Laura Schiel, in the women’s over 58kg K44.
The results of the 2017 US Open Para Taekwondo saw 10 athletes (five male and five female) enter the world rankings for the first time. Other notable changes to the rankings are:
• Ito moved up six positions to No. 12 in the men’s under 61kg K44
• The USA’s Felix Sabates jumped three places to fifth in the men’s under 75kg K44
• The USA’s Daniel Espinosa moved one stop to No. 5 in the K42 male under 75kg
• The men’s over 75kg K44 winner Evan Medell of the USA remains No. 5 and Mexico’s Francisco Pedroza moved up from No. 9 to No. 6 in the same category.
The full World Ranking list is available online.