Poomsae Referee team at the World Championships in Goyang

A report from the World Taekwondo Poomsae Championships in Goyang, South Korea.

After a long break of four years the city of Goyang in South Korea recently played host to the World Taekwondo Poomsae Championships. A record 784 athletes and 194 officials from 62 countries displayed an astounding level of performance on 5 courts over four days between the 21st and 24th April 2022.

Two referees from the UK, Master Glen Culbert, British Taekwondo’s Poomsae Referee Director, and Master Damian Duffy had the honour to be a part of a team of almost 60 of the most experienced referees from around the world.

Master Culbert, who was at his third World Championships, commented “It was fantastic to have two UK Referees appointed and have the opportunity to be a part of the World Championships, especially with it being held in the home of Taekwondo.”

With South Korea entering players, teams, and pairs in every division it was no surprise to see them top the medal table with 20 Golds. But other countries also fared very well, particularly Chinese Taipei, the USA, and Spain. Athletes of all ages impressed spectators and referees, from cadet athletes from Ukraine to the over-65 Linda Sim from Singapore. The more eagle-eyed might have recognised her from the Commonwealth Taekwondo Championships in 2014 in Edinburgh.

The International Referees had two days preparation training under the World Taekwondo referee chairman, Grandmaster Mustapha Moutarazak before playing a full part in the competition – refereeing, judging, coordinating, and working on the inspection desk to help deliver this most prestigious event.

As might be expected, the Under-30 divisions showed the highest level of Poomsae and the U30 male and female athletes were both awarded most valuable player awards. The U30 female winner was Eva Sanderson from Denmark, who will be familiar from competitions in Europe, as well as online.

The matches on the centre court were broadcast live on Korean TV, which made Master Damian concentrate even more on his coordinating duties. Watching on television could not have put across the atmosphere, with loud support and chanting from supporters and teammates filling the venue with noise and excitement.

The standard of Freestyle Poomsae was a highlight of the Championships. With athletes executing four or five kicks while performing a somersault, before landing cleanly, or showing perfectly shaped flying sidekicks well above head height. If you think that Poomsae isn’t your thing, then do take time to watch some of these performances and you will be more than impressed.

The UK Referees were proud to represent British Taekwondo at the highest level of competition and performed their duties very well. There can be no doubt that British Taekwondo is producing referees of the highest quality.

If you are interested in finding out more about refereeing and how to get qualified as a National Poomsae Referee, please do get in touch with the Poomsae Referee Department.

Upcoming Poomsae Referee courses

Registration is now open for the upcoming Poomsae Referee courses in Griffithstown, Wales and Basingstoke, England.

The first course will be held at Strength and Performance in Griffithstown on Sunday 5th June, with the second running at Bluewave Korean Martial Arts in Basingstoke on Sunday 7th August.

You can find out more and register for the events via the British Taekwondo Poomsae Referee Department’s Eventbrite page.

Photos: Submitted.

Reporting by Sian Reilly, Marketing Manager, Poomsae Referees Department.

If you have any Taekwondo news, updates, reports or potential blog posts to share, please contact Richard Gottfried, Marketing, Digital & Media Manager at British Taekwondo via marketing@britishtaekwondo.org or 07706 342156.