SEOUL, Korea (May 12, 2020) – The World Taekwondo Extraordinary Council meeting took place by videoconference today, as the federation continues to work to ensure that taekwondo is able to emerge from the current global crisis, stronger than before.
World Taekwondo President Chungwon Choue opened the meeting by expressing the federation’s sincere condolences to all those who have been affected by COVID-19 around the world and reiterated the solidarity of the global taekwondo family. With the meeting taking place on International Nurses Day, President Choue also took the opportunity to “acknowledge the selfless contributions of doctors and nurses around the world.”
World Taekwondo President Choue said:
“This pandemic has really changed our lives. I sincerely pray that we continue to be healthy and safe. Our thoughts are with all those who have been, and continue to be, affected.
“While the situation is bad for everyone, I believe that every adversity brings opportunities. Video conferencing has become the New Norm for us and offers a sustainable and cost-effective way for us to remain connected, long into the future. We have also been able to reach out to the grassroots more directly; engaging athletes to show their training sessions online and organising online education course. We have even seen online Poomsae events. We need to build on this and continue to embrace technology to find new ways to connect with our stakeholders.
“Today’s historic video conference was therefore a chance for World Taekwondo to reset and show our stakeholders, and also show the world, how taekwondo is once again leading the way.”
The meeting had been scheduled to take place at the Olympic House in Lausanne and so in the absence of this physical meeting, IOC President Thomas Bach sent a video message to the Council:
“While we are all living with uncertainty about the future, it is clear that this situation is having profound implications for everyone in the Olympic community and in the entire world of sport. The most visible impact was the historic decision to postpone the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 to next year. In this respect, I would like to thank the entire taekwondo family under the great and able leadership of President Choue for all your support for this difficult but necessary decision.
“We will need all our solidarity, creativity, determination and flexibility to get ready for the post-corona world. For that, we will all need to make sacrifices and compromises, this Extraordinary Council meeting is therefore a timely opportunity for you to set the course for the future of World Taekwondo to get ready for the day after this crisis is over. Thanks to your governance reforms, your impressive track-record of modernising your sport and your important humanitarian work, World Taekwondo can build on a strong foundation for this future.”
Despite the current global situation, the Council was able to confirm the host cities of a number of its 2021 and 2022 events as World Taekwondo aims to provide athletes, fans and all stakeholders with continuity and stability in the years ahead. The following host cities were confirmed:
- 2021 World Taekwondo Cadet Championships: Sofia, Bulgaria.
- 2022 World Taekwondo Junior Championships & Youth Olympic Games (YOG) Qualification Tournament: Dakar, Senegal.
Dakar will host the 2022 YOG in which mixed-gender taekwondo will be added to the competition for the first time.
- 2022 World Taekwondo Poomsae Championships: Goyang, Korea.
- 2022 World Taekwondo Grand Prix: Manchester, Singapore
The Council received a presentation from WT Hall of Fame Committee on the selection of the first inductees across the Officials, Athletes and Lifetime Contribution Award categories. The inductees will now be informed of their selection and once they have confirmed their acceptance, a final decision will be made by Council e-vote ahead of the Awarding Ceremony at the General Assembly in October on the occasion of the World Taekwondo Junior Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria.
The Council also approved the reinstatement of India as a member of World Taekwondo following the significant progress that has been made by India Taekwondo.
According to the Council e-vote, the WT Ranking Bylaws was approved. Under the approved amendments, each grade of World Taekwondo Championships, WT Grand Prix Final and WT Grand Prix Series has gone up by 2 levels. The Grade for World Taekwondo Championships changes from 12 to 14; for WT Grand Prix Finals it changes from 8 to 10; and for WT Grand Prix Series it changes from 4 to 6.
The next Council Meeting is scheduled to take place in Sofia on October 12 on the occasion of the World Taekwondo Junior Championships. Given the uncertainty surrounding the current pandemic, World Taekwondo will study other scenarios in case the meeting and General Assembly need to be held virtually to protect participants’ health.