The World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) has published the full list of WTF Para Taekwondo rankings, just another step in showing the sport’s global development.
World rankings in para-taekwondo kyorugi were first introduced at the 2015 Canada Para-Taekwondo Open (G-1) in February and have since been implemented at the inaugural Asian Para-taekwondo Championships (G-4/G-2) and the fourth European Para-taekwondo Championships (G-4/G-2).
The world rankings consist of four classifications. Each class is divided into three male and three female weight categories for a total of 24 divisions. The top four athletes in each class and division will be seeded in all para-taekwondo world ranking events. There are currently 97 athletes (78 male, 19 female) ranked in 19 divisions. The K44 +75kg is the largest male division with 17 ranked athletes. The K44 -58kg category is the largest female division with seven ranked athletes. The WTF expects this to grow to 150 athletes by the end of this year as they host more world ranking events, including the first Oceania Para-taekwondo Championships (G-4/G-2).
“Since we had the honour of being included in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic programme, we have seen an increase in the sport across our 206-member national associations,” WTF President Chungwon Choue said. “By the end of this year, we will have hosted the first ever Para-taekwondo Championships in Asia and Oceania, which shows the global appetite that exists for our sport.”
“But, this is only the beginning for para-taekwondo,” Choue added. “We are committed to working closely with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to continue to develop our world ranking system and increase participation, particularly amongst women.
“World rankings are vital in ensuring that the very best athletes compete against each other regularly, improving the quality of competition and guaranteeing the very best spectacle for fans. This will be reflected in the strength of field and quality of sport the global para-sport fanbase will be able to enjoy at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo 2020.”
The WTF also announced earlier this year that the para-taekwondo competition at the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) World Games has been given a G-4 status for the promotion of the multisport event.