CHELYABINSK, Russia (May 12, 2015) - The World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) and International Taekwondo Federation (ITF) took part in an historic joint demonstration at the opening ceremony of the 2015 World Taekwondo Championships today as part of the WTF’s ongoing commitment to increasing cooperation between the two federations for the benefit of the global sport.
WTF President Chungwon Choue invited the ITF taekwondo demonstration team to attend the opening ceremony of the World Taekwondo Championships earlier this year following an historic Protocol of Accord signed between the WTF and ITF on 21 August 2014. The joint demonstration was one of the highlights of a spectacular opening ceremony which also saw a speech delivered on behalf of UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon. Ban ki-Moon praised taekwondo’s global accessibility and the sport’s power to serve as a source of inspiration and empowerment for millions of men and women around the world.
More than 800 athletes from 139 different countries will compete in Chelyabinsk over the next five days demonstrating the universal appeal of the global sport. The state-of-the-art Traktor Arena will host the competition with every one of the tickets to the 7,500 capacity stadium already sold.
Speaking after the opening ceremony, WTF President Choue said:
“Tonight was a historic moment for taekwondo. We have not seen WTF and ITF athletes compete together before and this was a significant step forward in our vision for a truly united global taekwondo family. We do not want to leave any athletes behind and we are committed to working with the ITF so that one day every athlete will have the opportunity to compete at the Olympic Games.
“I would also like to thank the Russian Taekwondo Union for hosting such a fantastic opening ceremony. The preparations for these World Championships have been excellent and all the facilities are in place to deliver a world-class tournament. Over the next four days I have no doubt we will be treated to exciting and dramatic elite sport in front of thousands of passionate taekwondo fans.”