Beijing World Taekwondo Championships Wrap Up
The Beijing championships were a great success for good reasons. It was the largest both in terms of the number of participating countries and the number of journalists.
“The Beijing World Taekwondo Championships were a great success. The championships, which served as a rehearsal for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, drew about 1,400 athletes and officials from a record 116 countries,” said WTF President Chungwon Choue in his remarks during the closing ceremony at the Changping Gymnasium.
Dr. Choue continued to say, “The opening ceremony was especially spectacular, which involved more than 1,500 performers and 800 volunteers.”
“Reflecting the rapidly growing popularity of the Olympic sport of taekwondo, the Beijing championships attracted a record 335 journalists from 46 countries. The taekwondo matches were broadcast daily both live and in a delayed format around the world,” he said.
He said, “We also witnessed a great improvement in judgment and refereeing at this championship, but we have to do more to ensure fairer judgment and refereeing.” “The success of refereeing at major taekwondo championships is crucial for taekwondo to retain its Olympic status.”
At the closing ceremony, the Fair Play Awards were presented to Croatian Filip Grgic, the gold medal winner in the men’s bantamweight division, and Chinese Wu Jingyu, the gold medalist in the women’s finweight category.
Venezuela, Australia and Egypt received Good Fighting Spirit Awards, while Iraq, the United Arab Emirates and Kazakhstan were chosen as recipients of Active Participation Awards.
Francisco Martin of Spain and Jamie Dossantos of Canada were selected as the best male and female coaches, respectively. Five referees were chosen as the best referees of the Beijing championships – Soo-kon Oh of Korea, Carmen Navarro Ingles of Spain, Ian Leafe of United Kingdom, Mohamed Hosni Ahmed of Egypt and Nelson Brizuela of Costa Rica.
Doba Modibo Keita of Mali, the gold medalist in the men’s heavyweight division, was chosen as the recipient of the Samsung Blue Passion Award.
In the men’s division, Korea ranked first in terms of overall medal tally, followed by Iran, Spain, Chinese Taipei and Thailand. In the women’s category, Korea also clinched the team title, followed by China, Canada, Spain and Chinese Taipei.