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Dragan Jovic with Tijana Bogdanović during the ETU European Taekwondo Championships Montreux 2016


By Andrea Kafas

Serbia is ready to host the 15th Galeb Belgrade Trophy – Serbia Open 2016 on the 29th and 30th of October 2016 at Sports Hall Pionir. 
On the occasion of the event, the Sporting Director of the Serbian Taekwondo Association- Head Coach of Serbian National Seniors Team and President of the Organising Committee of the upcoming tournament Dragan Jovic, made his statements regarding the background of the WTF G-1 Class Tournament.
Additionally, he referred to the Serbian Taekwondo Association effort to keep Taekwondo as a leading sport within the country by making improvements and actions that will bring to the sport even more effective results for its future.   
Mr. Dragan Jovic when was the first time that a G1 Event was held in Serbia?
“Four years ago we conducted the transition from ETU A Class to WTF G tournament. At that time, all others ETU A Class tournaments conducted transmission to G class.”
What changes and improvements have been made to the Event through the years?
“The first thing is that we are doing our best to provide to our visitors great hospitality during their accommodation in Serbia. Moreover, our major goal is to make a step forward every year in order to achieve high level competitions and to keep taekwondo as a top-level sport in our country. As a result, every year we have live streaming of the event since we have massive media coverage by the newspapers, the national TV etc. The number of spectators expected during the two-day competition is very positive since we always try to make our sport halls suitable for such events for everyone and especially for the athletes who will have the chance to compete under the topmost conditions.”
Which are the participating categories of the Event in total and what was the higher number of participation in the history of your Event?
“The tournament is applies to all age categories (cadets, juniors, seniors) and in my opinion this is an excellent chance for the development of the new athletes’ generation. Cadets and juniors have the opportunity to watch and learn from seniors, who are great competitors and part of the history of global taekwondo. Regarding the number of participants this is something that constantly changes due to the registration system and the fact that registered athletes are always more than those who eventually attend the event. The organisers are facing difficulties because of the number of cancellation. The report for this year includes 1200 competitors as the maximum number. I believe it will be approximately 900-1000.”
According to the participation list of the upcoming G1 Event, can you please tell us the elite athletes? 
“This was an Olympic year and we are aware that all the athletes who participated in Olympic Games in Rio are probably still on holidays or they just came in to preparation process and as a result they are not prepared for tournaments. Regardless, several national teams applied for participation.”



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