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Azerbaijan Ready for 1st World Para-Taekwondo & 2009 World Cup Taekwondo Team Championship

Azerbaijan is ready for the 1st WTF World Para-Taekwondo Championships and the 2009 WTF World Cup Taekwondo Team Championships scheduled for June 10-14, 2009.

The inaugural WTF World Para-Taekwondo Championships is slated for June 10, immediately followed by the 2009 WTF World Cup Taekwondo Team Championships on June 11-14, both to be held at the Baku Sports Hall in Baku, Azerbaijan.

The two championships draw great interest from both the public and the global media for several reasons.

The two championships will mark the first World Taekwondo Federation-promoted taekwondo events using electronic protectors.

An instant video replay system will be introduced for the first time at the WTF-promoted events, as the WTF’s new Competition Rules started applying from June 1, 2009. The new rules also call for the reduction of the competition area from 10 meters by 10 meters to 8 meters by 8 meters, and the introduction of a new scoring system: one point for a valid attack to the trunk protector, two points for a valid turning kick to the trunk protector, and three points for a successful kick to the face.

The inaugural WTF World Para-Taekwondo Championships also draw a special interest from the global taekwondo family. The WTF aims to include taekwondo in the official program of the Paralympic Games.

The Organizing Committee expects that about 30 countries from five continents will participate in the 1st WTF World Para-Taekwondo Championships. Among the countries that submitted their entry lists are host Azerbaijan, Korea, Guatemala, Colombia, India, France, Iran, Israel, Turkey, Great Britain, Angola, Russia, Spain, Mongolia, Canada, the Philippines, Chinese Taipei, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.

“We are honored to host the 1st World Para-Taekwondo Championships in Azerbaijan and we will do our best to make participating athletes and officials feel at home,” said a ranking official of the Organizing Committee.

The new WTF Competition Rules will apply to the one-day Para-Taekwondo Championships with two modifications. No head kicks will be allowed and the International Paralympic Committee-designated four classifications will be combined into two classifications: amputation above elbow(s) and amputation below elbow(s).

The Olympic weight divisions will apply to the Para-Taekwondo Championships: -58kg, -68kg, -80kg and +80kg for male contestants;
-49kg, -57kg, -67kg, and +67kg for female contestants.

Medals will be awarded to the top four athletes in the respective classifications and weight divisions. Based on the point system, the top five teams of the men’s and women’s divisions will receive trophies. The Good Fighting Spirit Award and the Active Participation Award will be given to selected teams.

The 2009 WTF World Cup Taekwondo Team Championships invited 23 male and 23 female teams from 28 countries. The invitation criteria are the host country, the top five countries at the 2007 Beijing World Taekwondo Championships, the three countries recommended from Continental Taekwondo Unions, and wild cards.

The 23 male teams are from host Azerbaijan, Korea, Iran, China, Kazakhstan, Jordan, Chinese Taipei, Egypt, Spain, Germany, France, Turkey, Italy, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Greece, Mexico, Canada, Brazil, and Australia.

The 23 female teams are from host Azerbaijan, Korea, Iran, China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Morocco, Spain, Germany, France, Turkey, Italy, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Sweden, Russia, Greece, Mexico, Canada, Brazil, Venezuela, and Australia.

Five weight divisions for male and female athletes will apply to the World Cup: -54kg, -63kg,-72kg, -82kg, +82kg for male contestants; -47kg, -54kg, -61kg, -68kg, +68kg for female contestants.

The new WTF Competition Rules will apply and the round-robin system will be adopted in the preliminary rounds (on June 11, 12 and 13), while a single elimination tournament will be adopted in the quarterfinal, semifinal and finals (on June 14).

Six teams will be seeded in the preliminary rounds. They are the host country, and the top five highest-ranked teams at the 2007 WTF World Taekwondo Championships. In the preliminary rounds, 23 teams will be divided into six groups.

The top team of each group will automatically advance to the quarterfinal rounds. The other two quarterfinal slots will be allocated to two teams with the best records among the second-placed teams.

On June 9, the WTF Council meeting will be held at the Baku Conference Center. High on the agenda is the selection of the host city of the 4th WTF World Taekwondo Poomsae Championships.

The opening ceremony of the two championships is slated for June 10.

On June 12, the ad-hoc WTF Electronic Protector Committee, headed by Mr. Ivan Dibos, a WTF Council member and IOC member from Peru, will hold a meeting to recommend to the WTF president on whether to use electronic protectors at the 2009 WTF World Taekwondo Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Taken from www.wtf.org