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Athens – Long term partners Daedo International and the European Taekwondo Union have reached an agreement on continuing future cooperation. President Pragalos of the ETU is ‘delighted and proud’ to announce that the partnership with Daedo International will continue in the next Olympic cycle.


Daedo International and the ETU have been partners for years. It was ETU who provided Daedo with the access to its European events and it was the Daedo PSS that strengthened those events. Today, they reached an agreement together securing their partnership for the next 4 years, Daedo International will continue to support ETU and will provide the PSS and E-headgear (GEN2) exclusively to all ETU events. Furthermore, through this new agreement Daedo will support Organizing Committees (OCs) of ETU events by offering a special rent fee for renting the PSS (GEN2). Should the OC decide to purchase the PSS instead of renting, Daedo will also offer a special price.


ETU strongly recommends and urges all G-ranked recognized Open Championships to use the Daedo PSS and E-headgear (GEN2). The OCs of the G-ranked events recognized by ETU will be able to profit from the same special renting fees offered by Daedo through the newly signed agreement, and special prices if the Daedo PSS and E-Headgears is purchased for the event. For more details, OCs are requested to contact the ETU Office.


Rhodes, 15 December 2016


The 1st WTF Beach Poomsae Championships will be realized on 5-7 May 2017 on the historical island of Rhodes in Greece. Τhis world premiere of the new taekwondo style will attract the interest of the sporting world internationally and the numerous national teams that will participate from all around the world. Icing on the cake will be the picturesque host island of Rhodes. Located in the South Aegean region and specifically in the Dodecanese islands complex, it frames the ideal location for the event, since it is a crossroad between the east and the west within the Mediterranean Sea.


On the occasion of the event WTF Director-General Professor Yang Jin Bang assembled with the Vice Governor of the South Aegean region Marieta Papavasileiou, the ETU President Sakis Pragalos and the ETU Secretary-General Michael Fysentzidis, in order to visit the locations for the Championships and discuss the frame of partnership between WTF, ETU, ETANE, the South Aegean Region administration, the Municipality of the South Aegean and the rest local authorities.



WTF President Dr. Chongwon Choue noted: “The success of these Championships is very important, since it will mark the participation of WTF in San Diego 2019 ANOC WORLD BEACH GAMES. We are delighted that the event will be launched in such a historical and beautiful Greek island as Rhodes.”


Prior the event, the 13th ETU Poomsae Championships will be also realized on the island of Rhodes during 2-3 May 2017. “It is an honor to pass the torch of a major European Taekwondo event to the World Taekwondo and especially when it comes to the commencement of the 1st WTF Beach Poomsae Championships.” stated ETU President Sakis Pragalos and added: “At the same time it is important to give the opportunity to the National Teams to reduce their travelling cost, since all European National Teams can participate in both Championships."


Despite the fact that during the meeting the Governor of South Aegean region George Chatzimarkos was in Nisiros island to welcome the Greek Prime Minister, he noted: “The 1st WTF Beach Poomsae Championships is another major athletic event, which increases the quality of all the sports events, organized and supported by the Municipality of South Aegean. The development of sport tourism as a niche market, sets our strategic objective. The island of Rhodes is being established in the international sports world, as the ideal place to host prestigious sport events of international standards. The magnificent beaches and the welcoming weather will ensure the flawless conduction of the Championships and will endow the athletes and the fans that will visit the island, with an unforgettable experience. Such paramount global events as the 1st WTF Beach Poomsae Championships, will help Rhodes to reinforce the outreach of the international touristic movement, while communicating why it is worth visiting the islands of the South Aegean."


Professor Yang Jin Bang expressed his satisfaction regarding the suggested locations for the event. He also added that the 1st WTF Beach Poomsae Championships will be a spectacular event, unveiling a lot of surprises for all participants, that will establish a milestone pioneer for the sport of Taekwondo.


Co-organizer and supporter of the 1st WTF Beach Poomsae Championships in both infrastructure and labor expertise is the South Greek Taekwondo Union (ETANE).

The Secretary General of ETU and Vice President of ETANE Michael Fysentzidis stated: “It is an honor for us to be trusted with the organizational responsibility by the World Taekwondo Federation and the European Taekwondo Union. I am certain that the hospitality of Rhodes, will be proven the epitome of launching the WTF Beach Poomsae Championships and will set a partcipation record for the European Poomsae Championships.”


The Vice Governor of South Aegean region responsible for the department of tourism expressed her thoughts regarding the partnership: “The organization of these two (2) sport events is of paramount importance; especially since that they will be realized at the beginning of the touristic season. Apart from their sporting significance, the two events will also be a touristic attraction for all the visitors of the island, considered that the whole happening will be a unique spectacle right in the heart of the city of Rhodes.”


The island of Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecanese island complex. Administratively, the island forms a separate municipality  and is part of the South Aegean administrative region. Rhodes is known as The island of the Knights, named after the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem, who once conquered the land.

Historically, Rhodes was famous worldwide for the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and from which Colosseum in Rome was named after. The Medieval Old Town of the City of Rhodes has been declared a World Heritage Site. Today, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. 


More information about the island of Rhodes, you can find in the following links:





ETU Media Contact

Effie Zikouli

Chairwoman, ETU TV & Media Committee

e-mail:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


South Aegean Region Media contact

Dimitris Gartzonis

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Photo: (from left to right) Michael Fysentzidis ETU Secretary-General, Georgia Gatsis ETU General Director, Sakis Pragalos ETU President, Christos Efstratiou Political Safety Regional Councilor, Professor Yang Jin Bang WTF Director-General, Marieta Papavasileiou Vice Governor of South Aegean, Effie Zikouli ETU TV & Media Committee Chairwoman, Thomas Sotirlis President of the South Aegean Region Board, Pavlos Kazantzoglou Taekwondo Coach





Dear Coach,
Please be kindly informed that the renewal procedure for the Coach License terminates on 31/12/2016.
After 1/1/2017 the cost will be 200 euros per year and the participation to the New Coach Seminar will be obligatory once again.


Follow the ETU website link to renew your coach card throughout the system and be informed for all the details regarding the holders that their card expires at 31/12/2016.
Please pay attention for all the requirements and get registered until 31/12/2016!!!








As of today, ETU will introduce credit card safepayment for the Coach License renewal and Coach License seminars.
With this introduction of credit card safepayments, the high expenses of international bank transfers can be avoided by the coaches and the administration of the payments will be simplified.


If you have any questions, please contact the ETU office. 


The subsequent WTF Grand Prix and WTF Gala Awards report was written from McKenzie Michael viewpoint who is a professional Taekwondo Coach, analyst and commentator, WTF Games Committee member, ETU Scientific Committee Chairman, British Taekwondo Vice-President, Non-Executive Director and Columnist Taekwondo Aktuell.


As 2016 comes to an end the World Taekwondo Federation celebrates the end of the year with three showpiece events: The WTF Grand Prix Final, the WTF Gala Awards evening and the World Team Championships. This is the third year these have taken place and for the first time they have moved from Mexico to the European city of Baku.


Baku is a city used to hosting major sporting events, including the first ever European Olympic Games in 2015.  Another great example was the Azerbaijan Taekwondo Federation held the World Olympic Qualification in 2011 for the London Olympics.


The city has undergone an amazing transformation in recent years and as soon as you land at Heydar Aliyev International Airport you notice the impressive modernisation. Baku has an exciting mix of old and new with impressive new buildings complimenting the 'Old City” traditional structures. Each morning the drive from the hotel to the venue was a great opportunity to see these structures, that’s if you were brave enough to open your eyes as the Azeri driving style was obviously inspired by Formula 1!


The first event was the WTF Grand Prix Final. In actual fact there is only one Grand Prix in Olympic years and it featured the top 16 ranked athletes in the Olympic weight categories. Many medallists from Rio 2016 were here including Double Olympic Champion Jade Jones MBE of Great Britain.


This was the first major event many of the athletes had participated in since the Summer Olympiad. Some athletes who had not got the result they had hoped for in Rio wanted to set the record straight. Some athletes who hadn't had the opportunity to compete in the Olympics had points to prove and some athletes like Jones wanted to take their first steps to further glory in Tokyo 2020.


The WTF Grand Prix Final was contested on 9th and 10th December. On the first day European teams took 5 medals in total including the upset of the tournament in the -49kg Female category when GB's European Olympic Games Champion from 2015 recreated her gold medal winning performance in Baku defeating Rio Olympic Champion Kim So Hui. Russian athlete Svetlana Iguemnova took bronze in the same category as did her compatriot Albert Gaun in the -80kg division. The bronze medal matches were contested by the two losing semi-finalists so there was only one bronze medal per category. Sweden's Elin Johannson and Jesus Tortosa Carbrera also won bronze medals.


The second day of the tournament saw Europe take half of the medals up for grabs. Great Britain again provided the Gold medals. Jade Jones was in devastating form to take Gold in the -57kg Female category and team mate Bianca Walkden reigning World Champion overcame Olympic Champion Shuyin Zheng in impressive style to take the Female +67kg category.


In total Great Britain took 3 gold medals.  Belgium's Jaouad Achab provided one of the best performances against Korea's Lee Dae Hoon in the final of the male -68kg division narrowly losing out and taking the silver medal. Russia's rising star Konstantin Minin took bronze in the same category. His compatriots Vladislav Larin and Roman Kuznetsov took Silver and bronze respectively in the male Heavyweight +80kg division.


After successful completion of the WTF Grand Prix Final the following day was the WTF Gala Awards Celebration Ceremony and more specific on Sunday 11th December in between the WTF Grand Prix Finals and the World Team Championships.


The Gala was in two parts, the awards ceremony and the Gala Dinner. The Awards ceremony started with films summarising the successes of WTF most notably the Rio Olympic Games.


This was followed by a presentation about the Taekwondo Humanitarian fund then Azerbaijan singers. Voting had been held earlier for the 2016 WTF Referee of the Year (Female), 2016 WTF Referee of the Year (Male), 2016 WTF MNA of the Year, 2016 Best Kick of the Year, 2016 WTF Coach of the Year, 2016 WTF Female Player of the Year and 2016 WTF Male Player of the Year.


The awards were presented by WTF President Dr Chung Won Choe as well as ETU President Sakis Pragalos.


The awards:


2016 WTF Referee of the Year (Female): Maria Mekouri (Georgia)


2016 WTF Referee of the Year (Male): Song- Chul Kim (Canada)


2016 WTF MNA of the Year: Azerbaijan


2016 Best Kick of the Year: Cheick Salleh Junior Cisse (Cote d’Ivoire)


2016 WTF Coach of the Year: Reza Mehmandoust (Azerbaijan)


2016 WTF Female Player of the Year: Jade Jones MBE (Great Britain)


2016 WTF Male Player of the Year: Ahmad Abughaush (Jordan)


On the conclusion of the presentation a Board break challenge started by WTF President Dr Chung Won Choe in aid of the THF raised over $60,000


The second part of the evening was the Gala Dinner. Before the meal started, WTF President was presented with a Birthday cake to celebrate his recent birthday. McKenzie Michael, as Master of Ceremonies, called for a Toast in the honour of the President. The President of Azerbaijan Taekwondo Federation then made a welcome speech. This was followed by Referees and Athletes Bianca Walkden of Great Britain and Jaoud Achab of Belgium.


All concerned enjoyed the opportunity to take the chance to speak to friends and opponents in the true spirit of sportsmanship. The male athletes looked handsome and the Females beautiful, all dressed up for such a splendid occasion.






As ETU and the Hellas Taekwondo Federation are preparing the 1st World Taekwondo Beach Championships, the Director-General of the WTF Seoul Office visited the ETU. During the meeting, prof. Yang discussed the operations of the first ever World Beach Championships with the ETU and the organizers of the event. The event, which will include poomsae, will be held at Rhodos Island in May of 2017. ETU will organize the European Poomsae Championships just prior to the World Taekwondo Beach Championships combining both events in order to reduce the costs for the national teams. In the next days, prof. Yang and ETU officials will visit Rhodos island to visit the venue and discuss all operational and logistic matters. Prof. Yang also discussed several other topics and future cooperation between ETU and the WTF.



As the 2016 WTF World Taekwondo Grand Prix Final in Baku, Azerbaijan was successfully completed, ETU preserves its distinctions and enumerates twelve medals, comprising four golds at an event which pitched 118 athletes from 41 nations.


Great Britain attained the first place at the ranking of medal standings summing up to three gold medals in women category in the last elite tournament of the year.  Specifically, the “golden” British females during the premier event were Charlie Maddock (-49kg), the Rio bronze medallist Bianca Walkden (+67kg) and the double gold Olympian Jade Jones (-57kg).


Furthermore, the first-class list is accomplished by the European champion and bronze Olympic medallist from Azerbaijan, Milad Beigi Harchegani (-80kg).


Concurrently, the gold European medallist the Russian Vladislav Larin (Montreux 2016) and Jaouad Achab (Baku 2014) from Belgium both stroke the silver places on the winners’ podium at the +80kg and -68kg weight categories respectively.


Subsequently, the bronze European captures at the “City of Winds” were made by the Swedish Elin Johansson (-67kg), the silver European Jesus Tortosa Cabrera(-58kg)  from Spain and the Russian representatives Svetlana Igumenova (-49kg) bronze medallist in Baku,  Konstantin Minin (-68kg) bronze medallist in Montreux, the European Champion 2014 Albert Gaun (-80kg) and Roman Kuznetsov ( +80kg) silver European medallist 2016.


The ETU eminences were prolonged during the WTF Gala Awards, where four awards were delivered to the European Taekwondo. Jade “the headhunter” Jones was honoured by WTF as the ‘2016 Female Player of the Year’ and Reza Mehmandoust from Azerbaijan was privileged as the ‘2016 WTF Coach of the Year’.


The ‘2016 WTF MNA of the Year’ award was given to Azerbaijan Taekwondo Federation and Maria Merkouri from Georgia was honoured as the best woman referee of the year. 











Dr. Metin Sahin, WTF Council Member, ETU Vice President, Balkan Taekwodo Union President has been re-elected as a President of the Turkish Taekwondo Federation November 28, 2016 and he will serve as a President of Turkish Taekwondo Federation for the four-year term.


In the presence of His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco, the Opening Ceremony of the 9th Peace and Sport International Forum took place on Wednesday 23 November 2016 starting from the Terraces of the Opera of Monte-Carlo. The delegation of many political and sports personalities, all keen to show the world their commitment to peace through sport, were invited to join a peace message by a massive #WhiteCard group photograph.


S.A.S. Prince Albert II of Monaco stated: "We who believe in the virtues of sport know its ability to create bonds, to restore them or to strengthen them. I therefore particularly appreciate the concrete initiatives put forward by Peace and Sport to demonstrate that this is working and I encourage Joel Bouzou and his team to continue in this direction, which is the right one, with the support of the Government. "


Champions of Peace such as Surya Bonaly, Philippe Gilbert, Tatiana Golovin, Imanol Harinordoquy, Wilson Kipketer, Yelena Isinbaeva, Tegla Loroupe, Dan Luger, Paula Radcliffe, Marc Raquil and Helena Sukova , Pernilla Wiberg and many other champions, as well as political and sports personalities like Pal Schmitt and a Nobel Peace Prize, will address a message of peace both strong and symbolic that will precede the official opening of the Forum. Among them there are two taekwondo champions and Olympic medalists, Gentil Pascal and Marlene Harnois from France.


A lot of sport personalities, political and academic figures, as well as leaders from the private sector and civil society, are meeting for three days to discuss the capacity of sport to contribute to the building of lasting peace. To train agents of change, committed to a better, fairer and more united world.



Furthermore, Peace and Sport promotes and rewards initiatives using sport as a tool for peace. There are 9 Award Categories and in one of them, Federation of the Year, the World Taekwondo Federation is nominated for the Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation (THF).


The WTF created the “World Taekwondo Cares Program” early this year as part of its 2016 WTF Development Program. The program is intended to help promote taekwondo in developing countries and supports them with necessary equipment, infrastructure and related educational programs teaching the values of Olympism, global citizenship and world peace.


The ETU President, Sakis Pragalos, also participant at the 9th Peace and Sport Forum, stated: “Being here is the beginning of a meaningful action program of European taekwondo under the THF umbrella. We are ready to take the challenge and promote actions that will bring all the European countries under the same scope, of collaboration for a good cause. ”


Focusing on the theme Peace in Action: Changing the World through Sport, this edition of the Forum is taking place in a global context where peace seems to be receding: widespread violence and extremist acts threaten the stability of our societies at all levels, and The most vulnerable populations are often the hardest hit.


These are the 5 themes to be discussed and launch the debates:

I. Diplomacy through sport,

Ii. The legacy of sporting events,

Iii. Gender equity,

Iv. The social integration of refugees, and

V. Peace through sport in the digital era


 Especially for the diplomatic event, two taekwondo athletes were asked to participate representing their countries, Ukraine and Russia. 




During 2016, in total seventeen (17) Open Championships were realized in the European continent for the sport of Taekwondo. The European Open Tournaments cycle in 2016 started with the Turkish Open on 16th January and ended with the Israel Open on 27th November.


Considering the numerous and different parameters that are necessary in achieving a successful open tournament, it is a fact to say that the national opens are elevating year by year. It is the experience of the organizing committees that establishes the know-how each year and minimizes the fallacies throughout the event. Operations management plays the most important role to be able to control and carry out smoothly all these functions that such an event requires. The consistency of all the above is the one that will guarantee that for each tournament the procedures followed are the same and the participants will receive the same quality services.


After the conduction of the 14th Israel Taekwondo Open Championships, the President of the Israel Taekwondo Federation Michel Madar stated: “This was the 14th year of another successful Israel Open Taekwondo Championship. It was a quite difficult year, yet everything was carried out fine.  We are glad to have for the first year an ETU representative as well; it is very important for all participants, teams, coaches, etc., to know that the prerequisites of an open tournament will be ensured and controlled by the respective mandates. Since the first year of the Israel Open Championships in 2003 many things have changed. The organization has been elevated, the quality of the referees is more upscaled than the previous years and the level of the coaches and athletes is obviously higher. Of course, there is always space for improvements. I believe that Israel Open fulfills the requirements to increase the number of countries participating and of course the competitors. For this reason, I would like to thank ETU President Sakis Pragalos for all the support and help towards our Open Championships, congratulate all the medalists today and thank once again all the referees, coaches and athletes that participated in the 14th Israel Open Taekwondo Championships.”


The new Open Taekwondo cycle for 2017 will begin in Germany on 21st January, with the inaugural event of the German Open Taekwondo Championships. Regarding the coaches license, all coaches must be informed that if their Coach License card expiration date is 31 December 2016, they must renew their license before this date. If not, they will not qualify to participate in the following tournaments and have to follow the “New coaches” registration procedure to issue a new card, paying the registration fee for new coaches.


The European Taekwondo Union will ensure that the upcoming year of Taekwondo Open Championships will be prosperous for all the nations and guarantee the same quality competition standards for all the participants, the counties, coaches and athletes.


By Stavroula Katsoula

ETU Marketing Communications Coordinator




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