World Taekwondo announced that head protectors with face shields will be worn by Para taekwondo athletes competing at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and Continental Qualification Tournaments in order to further ensure athlete safety.
The recommendation was made by the World Taekwondo Para Taekwondo Committee following extensive analysis of data collected at previous tournaments. While Para Taekwondo is a very safe sport, it was decided that adding face shields to athletes’ head protectors would provide even further protection and minimise injuries.
Para taekwondo will make its Paralympic Games debut at Tokyo 2020 later this year.
World Taekwondo President Chungwon Choue said:
“The welfare of athletes is our number one priority and at World Taekwondo we are committed to doing everything possible to ensure our athletes’ safety. We therefore fully support the Para Taekwondo Committee’s decision to introduce face shields for athletes.
“We are very excited for Para taekwondo’s Paralympic debut in Tokyo and we want to make sure athletes are able to focus solely on competing at their very best.”
World Taekwondo Para Taekwondo Committee Chairman Chakir Chelbat added:
“We have a low injury occurrence in Para taekwondo, but we are always looking at ways we can reduce injuries even further. We have been analysing competition data extensively to identify what adjustments need to be made and have determined that the introduction of face protectors will offer athletes greater protection without impeding their ability to compete.
“We have no doubt that the Para taekwondo competition at Tokyo 2020 will be a fantastic event and will showcase our sport at its very best.”
Further actions are also being considered to improve the protective equipment in Para taekwondo and athlete safety.