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The red carpet in the palace of martial arts “Ak Bars” rolled out in the 23rd edition of European Taekwondo Championships and the elite of European athletes made the journey to Russia to compete for the greatest title in the continent; the one of the European Taekwondo Champion.Now underway, European Taekwondo counts 23 European Championships of thrill and excitement around the continent and here’s some key milestones from their moments. Remember when…

 

1976 - The year the European Taekwondo Union was founded and the inaugural year of the European Championship that was realized in Barcelona, Spain where Germany was declared champion country followed by Netherlands and Spain. The European Taekwondo Championships were held in Barcelona (Spain) between May 22 and 23, 1976 under the organization of the European Taekwondo Union (ETU) and the Spanish Federation of Taekwondo. The competition was held at the Palau Blaugrana.
1978 – Still under the physically and ideologically divided Germany, the 2nd edition of the European Taekwondo Championships took place in Munich, West Germany from 20 October until 22 October 
1980 – The year of women inclusion at the European Taekwondo Championships competing in all the divisions categories equivalent to men. The championship was realized in Esbjerg, Denmark from 14 - 17 October 1980, with Germany being declared champion country. Worth to mention that women were included in the European Taekwondo Championship before the respective women inclusion in the World Championship.
1982 - The Eternal City, Rome welcomes for the first time the European Taewkondo Championships on 23 – 26 September 1982 and Germany accumulates the highest medal number for the second year in a row.
1984 – The Championships return in West Germany, this time in Stuttgart from 26th - 28th October 1984, giving one more champion country title to the host country Germany.
1986 – The European Taekwondo Championship celebrates its first 10-year of championships, throwing the 6th edition of the event in Seefeld, Austria from 3rd - 5th October 1986. The champion country title changes hands and goes to Netherlands, validating the great development of the sport in the years that followed.
1988 – Changing geographic orientation, the European Taekwondo Championships go to Ankara Turkey, where the event was held 26 - 29 May 1988, with Turkey being both the host and champion country, as it managed to accumulate 13 medals in total along with Spain, yet with 2 gold medals more than the latter.
1990 – Entering a gold decade for the European Taekwondo, the 8th edition of the Championships were held in Aarhus, Denmark 18th - 21th October 1990, where Turkey preserved its medal champion country title by collecting in total 14 medal, followed by Germany with only 6 medals.
1992 - The European Taekwondo Championships change season and move from October that were usually being held, to May. Hence, the 9th European Taekwondo Championships are held 18th May - 25th May 1992 in Valencia, Spain. The same year the sport of Taekwondo has been selected as demonstration sport for the Barcelona 1992 Summer Olympic Games giving that extra boost to the event during that period. The host country Spain was also proved to be the medal champion country of the event.
1994 – European Taekwondo medal pie starts to open. Many more countries participate in the event and actively claim the highest ranking. The championships that was held in Zagreb, Croatia between 28th - 30th October 1994, might had Spain as champion country for one more time, yet among the countries in the ranking link were Greece, Hungary, Andorra, Belarus, as evidence of the taekwondo spread around the continent.
1996 – The championships move at the northern part of Europe in Helsinki, Finland between 26 - 27 October 1996. Spain sustains its medal accumulation title and countries like Azerbaijan make their debut in the event. 
1998 – the 12th European Taekwondo Championships were held in Eindhoven, Netherlands between 23th -25th October 1998, while Spain remains unbreakable in medals collection. 
2000 – The country that won the first Gold Olympic Medal in taekwondo was the last one to host the European Taekwondo Championships before the first official appearance of the sport in the Olympic Games. The event was held in Patra, Greece from 4th May 2000 - 7th May 2000, where the medal champion country title was awarded to the neighbor Turkey.
2002 – Once again in Turkey, yet this time in Samsun, the 14th European Taekwondo Championships was realized from 1st - 5th April 2002, holding once again domestically the highest medal ranking title.
2004 – Lillehammer, Norway welcomes the 14th European Taekwondo Championship from 1- 5 May 2004, while the champion country title goes back again to Spain.
2005 – The country of Latvia hosted a major taekwondo event for the first time. The city of Riga was the heart of European Taekwondo from 6-9 October 2005 and gave the champion country title to the national team of Turkey.
2006 –  The returns to one of its initial hosting countries, Germany. Without walls anymore, the beautiful city of Bonn becomes the host of the championship for three days, 26-28 May 2006 and will achieve the largest collection in medals, claiming this way the champion country title.
2008 – Italy takes the relay from Germany and continues its history in taekwondo by hosting the 20018 European Taekwondo Championship in the heart of the country; Rome, between 10th and 13th April 2008, giving Turkey the champion country title.
2010 – Back in 2010, the European Taekwondo Championships were hosted in Russia as well. At that time, the picturesque city of St. Petersburg was the host city and the event took place from 12th to 15th May 2010. The National Team of Turkey managed to claim the title of champion country one more time.
2012 – The year of the London 2012 Olympic Games could not but to include taekwondo as well. For UK’s top-notch year, the city of Manchester hosted the European Taekwondo Championships and set a new point of reference for the development of GB team as well. During the event, the national team of France achieved winning the highest number of medals, and along, the champion country title.
2014 – The European Taekwondo goes live all over Europe. Baku 2014 European Championships was the first taekwondo event that was broadcast live on the EBU network from 1 - 4 May 2014, while the champion country of the event was Croatia.
2016 – Surrounded by the picturesque Geneva Lake, the 22nd version of the championship was realized in Montreux, Switzerland from 19-22 May 2016. The event holds the record of the highest number of participating countries, yet the title of the champion went to only one; Great Britain, with Jade Jones (GB) getting her European gold medal just a breath away from the Summer Olympic Games Rio 2016
2018 – The 23 versions of European Taekwondo Senior Championships close with the latter one. Just one month before the world cup in football, the city of Kazan in Russia hosted the Championships from 10-13 May 2018, with the hosting country Russia – as it was expected – taking the lead in medals and getting the champion country title.
2020 – It has been already announced and it has already set the expectations high enough. The next hosting city of the European Taekwondo Championships; Belgrade in Serbia, after the constant increasement of the sport domestically, decided to host the milestone event of WTE and offer to the taekwondo family the exquisite Serbian hospitality. We are looking forward…

 

All 23 events have been of great success and importance in their time for both the participating athletes and the host cities; yet what matters the most, is that the medals awarded, and memories recalled are the ones which stay.
From those ones who remember that first championship in 1976, to the ones that will participate for the first time in Belgrade 2022, you are all part of the European Taekwondo history.
Here’s to another fantastic 23 European Taekwondo Championships around the cities of Europe!
 
Stavroula Katsoula
WTE Marketing Communications Coordinator

 

 

 

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