Para Taekwondo will make its historic Paralympic Games debut in Tokyo and the Joint Workshop was an opportunity to run through important rules and procedures for the Para Taekwondo competitions.
A total of 30 referees (15 male and 15 female) from 30 countries will officiate the competitions in Tokyo. Just like in Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, World Taekwondo is sending equal number of male and female referees to advance gender equality in the Olympic and Paralympic movements.
The Joint Workshop began with opening remarks from World Taekwondo President Chungwon Choue who said:
“Today, I wish to congratulate the 73 athletes from 37 countries who have qualified, including our first ever refugee Paralympic athlete from Rwanda. Unfortunately, we cannot be joined by Afghanistan today and at the Games. We pray for the safety of our athletes and officials.
“World Taekwondo is recognised as one of the fairest international federations in the world because of our innovative technology to deliver fair competitions. We also have some of the best technical officials who have passed strict requirements and education to be selected as a Paralympic referee. It is a huge honor for you, your family, and also for your country.
“Your mission as referees is simple – make the best objective judgment and do your best to eliminate human error. You must study as many case studies as you can and prepare yourselves mentally, physically, and emotionally. For the coaches, good luck as you prepare your athletes with the best possible preparations for the Games.”
Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games Technical Delegate Chakir Chelbat followed the President in providing some opening remarks before an overview was given on the COVID-19 procedures at the Games. Other important subjects covered were Roles, Responsibilities and Ethics and Competition Rules by Chakir Chelbat; Games Procedures by Usman Dildar, Vice Chair of Para Taekwondo Committee; and Medical Procedures by David Jeong, Chair of Medical Committee. The second half of the Joint Workshop was a discussion and Q&A.
World Taekwondo’s participation in the Paralympic Games has been a dream 12 years in the making, since the first Para Taekwondo world championships in Baku, Azerbaijan, in June 2009.