The 8th Para Taekwondo World Championships took place in Antalya, Turkey in February 2019 and the biggest Championships to date.
Despite having a growing and inclusive Para-Poomsae Squad in many classification divisions, at present only two classifications have World Taekwondo Classification status: P20 (Intellectual Impairment) & P30 (Physical Impairment).
British Taekwondo provided vital funding to a small team of 7 athletes from the GB Para-Poomsae Squad, who otherwise would not have been able to attend.
The team flew out on 2nd February from Manchester alongside the GB Para-Kyrougi Team. Leading up to the Championships the Para-Poomsae Team trained three sessions a day under the guidance of the Coaches: Gemma Biescas, Russell Watkinson and Terry Cooper. The Head of Team was British Taekwondo President Sarah Stevenson-Jennings who provided encouraging support to both the Poomsae and Kyrougi Teams.
Also in attendance at the Championships was the British Taekwondo Vice-President, and World Taekwondo Para Taekwondo Games Chair Master Usman Dildar.
The competition format was elimination (Red v Blue) with the winner progressing to the next round of competition.
DOUBLE WORLD CHAMPION P33 Female (2017 & 2019)
Samantha Carrington from Kang Han Taekwondo Club competed in the P33 Female Division and was entering the Competition as the current World Champion from 2017.
Before her finals match Sam was selected to read the athletes oath at the Opening Ceremony alongside a male kyrougi athlete from Turkey. This was a huge honour for Sam and for Great Britain, and she received a special thanks from the World Taekwondo President Dr Choue.
Samantha then went on to win her finals against the USA and become the 2019 World Champion (Double World Champion 2017 & 2019).
DOUBLE WORLD CHAMPION P20 Junior Male (2017 & 2019)
WORLD SILVER MEDALLIST P20 – Junior Male
Great Britain had two competitors in the P20 Junior Male division – Bradley Brockies from Yong Gi Taekwondo Club, the current World & European Champion, and Kieran Wroe from KBBA club, in his first major Championships. Both competitors were looking strong on different sides of the draw. Bradley beat Pakistan and Turkey to reach the finals, and Kieran beat Turkey and Slovakia to also reach the finals.
It was an exciting Great Britain v Great Britain final – both competitors performed to a very high standard with great sportsmanship. Bradley, the more experienced athlete went on to win Gold and Kieran Silver.
GABRIELLE TOAS – P20 U30 Female
New member of the GB Team Gabrielle Toas from Chi Taekwondo competed in the P20 U30 Female division in her first Major Championships. Gabrielle celebrated her 18thbirthday with the team in Turkey after a full day training and preparation.
Despite a good performance Gabrielle missed out on a medal losing to Chile, the eventual winner of the category.
RAJINDER CHATHA – P20 +31 Male
46 year old Rajinder Chatha from LTA competed in the P20 +31 years Male category, and was entering the Championships as the current World Bronze and European Silver Medallist. Rajinder had recently recovered from an injury but despite this he did his best performance to date. Unfortunately, he just missed out on a medal at this Championships against Poland. Rajinder was selected by the GB Coaches and Athletes with the honour of being the Great Britain Flag Bearer in the Opening ceremony.
BEN SAVAGE – P20 U30 Male
Ben Savage from Unite Taekwondo Club competed in the biggest category of the day P20 U30 Male with 22 competitors. Ben had showed great maturity and development in the preparation to the Championships and he won his first match against Turkey with ease. In the next round Ben went on to win again against an experienced competitor from Italy. Despite winning these matches and growing in confidence into his 3rd Match, Ben had an unlucky draw against Ecuador who provided an amazing performance to go on and easily win the category.
LEWIS CURRIE – P31 Male
14 Year old Lewis Currie from Elite Taekwondo Club in Scotland competed in P30 Male. The P30 categories were combined in age and with 10 competitors in his P31 classification division, Lewis was the youngest competitor. A very strong performance from Lewis in the Semi-finals wasn’t quite enough to beat the opponent from Kazakhstan who won the Bronze medal in the division.
GREAT BRITAIN – 2ND PLACE P20 OVERALL AWARD
A highlight of the Championships was Great Britain winning the 2nd Place Cup in the P20 Poomsae combined results.
British Taekwondo would also like to congratulate GB Taekwondo’s World Para-Kyrougi Champion Matt Bush who won an impressive Gold in the +78kg Male Division.
Even with a small team of only 7 athletes, the Great Britain Para-Poomsae Team managed to finish 2nd in the World medal Standings behind a very large experienced team from Russia.
For more information about the Para-Poomsae development programme and elite pathways – please email: firstname.lastname@example.org