The World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) has announced the June Para Taekwondo World Rankings with a number of changes following the results of the first ever African Para Taekwondo Championships.
The 1st African Para Taekwondo Championships took place on 22 May in Port Said, Egypt, and attracted 29 athletes from 11 countries. The Championships were open to participants from all around the world but athletes from Africa had the opportunity to win twice as many ranking points as those from other continents.
Iran finished on top of the overall medal table with five gold medals, beating Morocco who came in second with three gold medals and Spain who came in third with two gold medals. Nigeria was the second-highest finishing African country coming in fourth with one gold medal and one bronze medal. This was the first time Nigeria participated in an international Para taekwondo event. Throughout the competition, fans were treated to exciting and dramatic competitions and witnessed a number of firsts including Germany winning their maiden Para taekwondo gold medal and Afghanistan taking a silver in the K44 female under 58kg category.
A demonstration match was staged ahead of the Championships between Morocco’s Rajae Akermarch who won silver at the 2015 WTF World Championships and Egypt's Hedaya Malak who has qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and won the under 57 kg gold medal at the 2015 World Taekwondo Grand Prix Final. The match was held under Para taekwondo rules with no kicks to the head permitted.
Following the Championships, notable changes to the world rankings include:
• Uzbekistan's Sarvarjon Obidjornov climbs the rankings from No. 9 to No. 6 in the K44 male over 75 kg after claiming a bronze medal in Port Said
• Spain's Santana Santana moves from No. 9 to No. 6 in the rankings for the K44 male under 61 kg after an excellent performance in the African Para taekwondo Championships which saw him claim gold
• Morocco's Mohammed Aatif moves from No. 13 to No. 6 in the rankings for the K44 male under 75 kg having claimed silver in Port Said.
The full list of world rankings can be found on the WTF’s website.