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Poreč, a popular summer resort on the coast of the Istrian Peninsula in western Croatia, and just across the city of Venice, will be the host city of the 8thOpen European Clubs Championships on 3-7 April 2020.

Regarding the progress of all operations and procedures, Taekwondo Europe delegation visited the capital of Croatia, Zagreb, the host city of Poreč and Žatika Sport Centre- the arena that will host the event – in order to inspect the venue, meet and greet with the Organizing Committee, as well as the contributors that will ensure the success of the event in local level for the society of the city.

During the first day of the visit, Taekwondo Europe delegation met with the President of the local Organizing Committee Tamara Pradegan, and Mr. Darko Vučić, Head of the Sports Development Sector at the Central State Office for Sports at the premises of the Sports Ministry in the capital city of Zagreb, where also accompanied by grandmaster Miro Brezan and the ministry delegation, they had the opportunity to discuss the progress and particular details in the organization of the event.

On their second day of visit, Taekwondo Europe General Director Georgia Gatsis and Sport Coordinator George Tsimekis met with the Dr. Dragan Primorac, former  Minister of Science, Education and Sports of The Republic of Croatia, and founder of the Specialty Hospital for Orthopedics, Neurology and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation “St. Catherine” in Croatia, which will also serve as the main provider of medical supplies in equipment and labor for the championships. Dr. Primorac was very contented and supportive that Croatia welcomes a European Taekwondo Championship that is hosted in the city of Poreč, and after presenting Taekwondo Europe delegation with a commemorative present, he expressed his confidence that the final result will be successful, firmly believing that the organizing committee will carry out the event in the best possible way.


During the visit to Žatika Sports Centre, Taekwondo Europe explored the main area where the games will be carries out, whilst inspecting the surrounding space that will accommodate the teams, spectators, media, officials, as well as the nearby buildings which will be used as training and warm-up areas. Žatika Sports Centre is a multi-functional hall, which was built for the needs of 2009 World Men's Handball Championship, and formally opened on 21 November 2008. The total area of the hall is about 14,000 square m, and it has a total seating capacity of around 3,700. Apart from the big hall, a small hall is planned to serve as a training area, which is of 213.40 sq.m. in total. 

The beautiful town of Poreč in Croatia is looking forward to welcoming the 8th version of one of the most successful in participation numbers, European events, that will offer participants and visitors one more thrilling taekwondo spectacle and experience. More information regarding the event will be included in the official outline of the championships, which is expected to be published soon.

The Arena


The tribunes

 Floor plans








The 2019 DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) Peace Festival took place on June 29 in Paju, Korea with thousands of taekwondo practitioners taking part to promote a message of world peace.

The festival is jointly promoted by GCS International, headed by World Taekwondo President Dr. Chungwon Choue, and Kukmin Daily, one of Korea’s influential nationwide newspapers.


Under the theme “Hand in Hand for Peace,” the event aimed to provide free taekwondo education for children in developing countries and world peace.

The festival was composed of an opening ceremony which included taekwondo performances by WT Taekwondo Demonstration Team and the GCS Global Peace Corps Taekwondo Demonstration Team, and an art exhibition along the electric fences of the DMZ near the Peace Nuri Park.

Around 5,000 taekwondo practitioners from across Korea performed a flash mob wishing for world peace, while for the art exhibition of the 2019 DMZ Peace Festival, Cooperation Act, a U.S. NGO, received about 500 art pieces from participants outside of Korea, which comprised of drawings and/or paintings, under the main theme of the exhibition which was world peace.

“We are pleased to work with the Kukmin Daily for the 2019 DMZ Peace Festival through which we want to show the world that taekwondo is a peace-loving Olympic sport,” said Dr. Chungwon Choue.


Source: World Taekwondo

Access full article here


A series of championships and Open Taekwondo events in Europe chose to communicate and capture the unique moments of their event through creative videos, reaching the entire taekwondo family in Europe. 

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     On 22 and 23 June 2019, the Executive Board (EB) of Taekwondo Europe met in Athens to discuss an extensive agenda covering various subjects. The EB agreed on awarding the 2022 European Senior Championships to Great Britain, decided to give the quota’s that athletes can win at the different Taekwondo Europe events back to the MNAs and to introduce the Annual Taekwondo Europe Awards. Besides that, the EB unanimously supported the policy proposal to focus more on our youth: Generation 24.


      During the 2-day meeting, President Pragalos and Secretary Fysentzidis met with the Vice-presidents, Honorary President and the Treasurers of Taekwondo Europe. At the meeting decisions were taken as well as proposals approved to be decided by Taekwondo Europe’s Council in their November meeting.


Quota’s back to the federation

      The MNAs (federations) decided last month to approve a revision of the quota allocation system, reducing the number of quotas up for grabs at the Presidents Cup, European Club Championships and Multi European Games. The EB decided that the obtained quota goes to the MNAs meaning that the MNA has to approve the participation of the athlete that obtained the quota. If the MNA does not select the athlete for whatever reason, the athlete has the right to appeal this decision directly to Taekwondo Europe and thus challenging the contested decision of the MNA at the level of Taekwondo Europe. For this process, rules and regulations will be presented during the November meetings.


Small countries: a new organization under the umbrella of Taekwondo Europe

      President of World Taekwondo, Dr. Chungwon Choue, suggested and initiated the foundation of a new organization under Taekwondo Europe: Small States Taekwondo Union (SSTU). President Pragalos appointed Mr. Phivos Christou (Cyprus) as its first President and Mr. Norbert Welu (Luxemburg) as its first Secretary-General. The SSTU will organize Championships for the Small States of Europe and open a lobby to include Taekwondo in the Games of the Small States of Europe which takes place every 2 years. The following countries are included: Andorra, Cyprus, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro and San Marino. Currently, Liechtenstein is not yet a member of Taekwondo Europe, but together with the Lausanne WT Office, Taekwondo Europe will explore possibilities to become a member.


Fred Buitenhuis: appointed as deputy President

      Vice-president Fred Buitenhuis (Netherlands) was appointed by President Sakis Pragalos as deputy President. Mr. Buitenhuis has been a well-known official within the European Taekwondo Family and is also known as the President of the Dutch Taekwondo Federation, a position which he holds for more than 10 years. As deputy President, Mr. Buitenhuis will represent the President on occasions, wherever the President cannot represent Taekwondo Europe.


Calendar planning and promotion

      To optimize the event Calendar, the EB approved a structure as shown in below infographic. Each Taekwondo Europe event preferably gets organized in a specific recurrent (bi)annual timeframe. A new approved feature is to use the Taekwondo Europe Calendar also for other European events.

Next to that, G1 events (and other events) have the opportunity to contracting Taekwondo Europe’s partners Taekwondo Aktuell for event promotion and coverage and Firmavideo (www.firmavideo.ee) for event promotion and highlight videos. Finally, Taekwondo Europe will soon open its Webshop (www.wteshop.eu) on which Taekwondo Europe branded products will be sold. But also, MNA’s will have the opportunity to bulk order products with their own logo shown.


Generation 24: new policy for our youth!

      The EB unanimously agreed to propose to the Council the Generation 24 policy plan. This plan entails a few measures that all have the aim of maintaining Europe’s leading position in the world, with ‘24’ referring to the Paris 2024 Olympics.

First, the introduction of monthly European Ranking lists for Cadets and Juniors as per 2020 was proposed. SimplyCompete, the company that currently provides the monthly WT Senior Ranking lists is committed to do the same for the European Cadets and Junior athletes. Second, the start of a new event cycle – Generation 24 – aimed at Kids and Cadets, the Olympic medal winners of the future.

For this event cycle, Europe has been divided in 6 regions. Medal winners within each region will fight at a Grand Finale event to be crowned Europe’s best Cadet or Kid athlete. And finally, the Generation 24 policy entails a Regional Empowerment program which sees on empowering those MNAs that had no or a limited number of Olympic athletes in the past. By organizing targeted Training Camps, education for coaches and other activities, the aim is to empower those countries that need it.

Other new initiatives

      Referee Chairman, Mr. Chakir Chelbat presented the functionalities of the www.tkdreferee.com website. Certified WT recognized International Referees can register themselves and apply for participation as IR at events. The tool is not only applicable for Taekwondo Europe sanctioned events, but the service is also offered to European G1 events and for that purpose, tool will be used as per 2020. The OCs of the G1/G2 events will receive a Referee list from Taekwondo Europe from which they can select the International Referees for their event.

      Games Chairman, Mr. Ali Sagirkaya presented the risks and dangers of rapid weight loss of our Kids and Cadet athletes. He discussed the idea of introducing height divisions combined with healthy range of BMI in order to prevent rapid weight loss and endangering our youth and create a healthier approach of weight management. He also passionately argued for more education for coaches and parents on the subject. The EB applauded his contribution and will look at implementation opportunities.

       As from 2020, Taekwondo Europe will organize the Annual Taekwondo Europe Awards. Nominees for the awards are selected by the Taekwondo Europe Academy on the basis of Field of Play performance (results) and behavior l outside the Field of Play. An International Jury, chaired by Secretary-General Fysentzidis, consisting of one representative of the athletes, coaches, MNA Presidents, Council members, International Referees and retired Olympians Awards will decide which nominee will be awarded. Next to best Male and best Female athlete in Kyurugi, Poomsae and Para Taekwondo, the Rising Star Award, Women of the Year Award and Life Time Achievement Award will be introduced. The Dr. Sun Jae Park Award will be awarded to the European International Referee that follows the values of the Taekwondo Europe’s Honorary President, the late dr. Sun Jae Park: fairness, integrity, dignity and courtesy. To involve our fans more, the Best Fan award will be introduced for the fan that involves Taekwondo Europe and our athletes in his/her social media activities.  

      The Education and Coach department proposed to award Olympic coaches that coached European athletes towards an Olympic medal. Those coaches that coached Olympic gold medalists are awarded with a lifetime European Coach Licence. Those coaches that supported silver and bronze Olympic medalists are awarded with a 4-year European Coach Licence.

      The Poomsae Committee proposed to introduce a new additional Poomsae competition method in which the aim is not to achieve an individual result but together as a team of athletes, pairs and 3-team, basically a mixture of divisions. The EB approved the rules for this event and a test event will be organized within the next few months.






GB Taekwondo Performance Director Gary Hall and CEO Matt Archibald were present at Taekwondo Europe Executive Board Meeting that was realized 22-23 June in Athens, Greece. The two delegates presented an extensive proposal on the organisation of the 2022 European Taekwondo Championships to be realized at the city of Manchester, as well as insightful information regarding the city, the venue and the event itself.

After unanimous approval by the Taekwondo Europe Executive Board Meeting , the city of Manchester along with GB Taekwondo were awarded the 25th edition of the European Taekwondo Championships.

This is the second time that the city of Manchester will be hosting the European Taekwondo Championships; the first one was back in 2012.

“According to the performance and the progress it has shown, I am confident that GB Taekwondo will carry out the project successfully and in the best possible way. I am certain that Manchester 2022 will be a landmark for European Taekwondo, as it did back in 2012”, stated Taekwondo Europe President Sakis Pragalos, giving ‘the green light’ to GB Taekwondo to proceed with all relevant procedures.


(Photo from left to right: Taekwondo Europe Secretary General Michael Fysentzidis, GB Taekwondo CEO Matt Archibald, Performance Director Gary Hall, Taekwondo Europe President Sakis Pragalos)





Eid Feirooz Mesmari, International Referee from the United Arab Emirates passed away suddendly, leaving the taekwondo family in grief. Eid, apart from a member of the taekwondo family, was also under the founding of Fujairah Open, in addition to a great referee and taekwondo professional. He had under his experience many taekwondo championships and events in Europe where he attended as an International Referee.

Taekwondo Europe expresses its deepest condolences to the taekwondo family of United Arab Emirates, to the International Referees and heartfelt sympathies to Eid Feirooz Mesmari's family, relatives and friends.
Luxembourg Open attracted athletes from 56 counties. Overall, 750 athletes participated and and these are some of their stories. Enjoy the highlights of the athletes' fights, the overall event and the atmosphere that made Luxembourg Open a topnotch G1 tournament.



On the occasion of the WTE European Under 21 Championships 2019, Taekwondo Europe delegation made a site visit in Helsingborg Arena, the host arena of the event, to inspect the venue and secure that the championships will be carried out successfully. Taekwondo Europe General Director Georgia Gatsis and Sport Coordinator George Tsimekis met with the President of the Organizing Comittee Pernilla Westphal and the Operations Coordinator Gibriel Jatta and were toured around the venue and its facilities.


During the visit, Taekwondo Europe delegation explored the main arena where the four in total terains will be placed and the surrounding halls, which will be used as training and warm-up areas. Two large video walls will accommodate spectators livestream and results, while around the main arena there will be a sponsor's village, offering the visitors and spectators the opportunity to buy from sports equipment to commemorative items from the event or the city.


The VIP and officials will have their own delegated spaces, and also special, spatious and comfortable areas will be used along with the restaurants of the arena as dining areas for athletes, coaches and IRs. Media representatives will also enjoy a number of professional facilities, as the arena is facilitated with exclusive press area, media booths, and separate access, so to ensure that the event can be communicated in the best possible way by journalists and media professionals.




The Organizing Committee has already arranged all hospitality issues, including accommodation and transportation. The three hotels that will accommodate all the teams and referees, along with the fourth one delegated to the event officials, are located at a maximum ten-minute drive away from the arena. All the teams will be transfered to and from the arena on a daily basis, as well as the teams that have booked their accommodation through the OC, will also be granted their pick up to and from the airport, provided they inform the organizing committee in time. The closest airport to the city is Copenhagen Airport in Denmark, being less than an hour drive away, although Malmo Airport is closer, yet being used for regional flights mostly. 


Helsingborg Arena capacity reaches 5,000 spectators (main area) and up to now, it has hosted numerous of events from different sports, as well as music concerts and several cultural events, always delivering a flawless result. Spectators can access the arena and watch the competitions for a small ticket fee, which will be known in the upcoming days.



The beautiful city of Helsingborg in Sweden is looking forward to welcoming the WTE European Under 21 Championships on 5-8 September 2019, offering participants an amazing event experience. Taekwondo Europe along with the Organising Committee are certain that the event will thrive both in terms of organizing and services provided and invite the Taekwondo family in Sweden.


Helsingborg Arena, the multi-purpose arena that has hosted hundreds of sport, music and cultural events, will welcome the WTE European Under 21 Championships 2019, offering the participants an amazing event experience.


(Photo: OC Operations Cordinator Gibriel Jatta, WTE Sport Coordinator Geaorge Tsimekis, WTE General Director Georgia Gatsis)


Helsingborg Arena Restaurant


Helsingborg Arena Lounge


Helsingborg Arena surroundings



Rome welcomed some of the world elite taekwondo athletes during World Taekwondo Grand Prix Series 2019. The event was the inaugural one for the Grand Prix 2019, while also it was the first time Poomsae is included in the Grand Prix Series.

Rome 2019 Grand Prix was held at Foro Italico Arena, with 255 taekwondo athletes from 53 countries participating. The award ceremony on the occasion of the event was held in Colosseum, with many of the biggest names of Taekwondo being present and the WT Demo team giving a spectacular show, creating an extraordinary scenery within the historical monument. (video)




In the past few weeks, Taekwondo Europe and the Royal Spanish Taekwondo Federation reached an agreement on the hosting of the European Cadet Championships and European Junior Championships 2019. Marina d’Or, also known as Taekwondo City, will host both events. The Cadet event will kick off 1 – 3 October and the Junior event will follow with event dates 4 – 6 October 2019


Taekwondo Europe is grateful for the continuing commitment and support of the Royal Spanish Taekwondo Federation and in particular its Executive Board and President Jesus Castellanos Pueblas. 




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