Taekwondo bid for Tokyo 2020 receives boost with inclusion in INAS Games

Post date: Dec 5, 2013 9:46:11 AM

Taekwondo's bid to be included on the programme for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics has received an early boost with inclusion as a demonstration sport at the 2015 International Sports Federation for Persons with Intellectual Disability (INAS) Global Games in Guayaquil, Ecuador. The decision follows a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in June between INAS and the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF).As part of the agreement, WTF will increase its efforts to promote taekwondo for athletes with an intellectual disability throughout the world by working closely with its national federations to further develop the sport within those nations.The announcement comes shortly after the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) announced the beginning of the process to introduce new sports to the programme for Tokyo 2020.Taekwondo is one of the sports bidding for inclusion and WTF President Chungwon Choue has claimed that "all his dreams will have come true," if a future attempt is successful.

Inclusion at the Global Games is, therefore, a good step in that regard as it will further raise the profile of the sport.

INAS was formed in 1985 and with a membership representing thousands of athletes with an intellectual disability across 65 countries.

The Global Games, held every four years, is the largest sporting event that they organise and currently features seven sports.

More than 1,000 athletes are expected to compete at the 2015 edition.

Taekwondo is the first demonstration sport to be confirmed on the programme and Chungwon Choue sees this as another positive step forward and "an honour for Para-taekwondo."

"INAS has done an excellent job in promoting sports for athletes with an intellectual disability for over twenty years and we are extremely excited about the opportunity to work with them," he said.

"We look forward to learning from their vast experience and expertise in order to develop Para-taekwondo further."

A similarly positive reaction was put forward by Nick Parr, INAS Eexecutive director, who claimedw "INAS is delighted to see Para-taekwondo added to the programme.

"The decision is a recognition of the commitment made by WTF to create more competitive opportunities for athletes with an intellectual disability, and I look forward to seeing the sport develop over the coming years."

Viktoriia Marchuk of Ukraine and Sevil Abdulova of Russia clash in the 49kg division at the 2013 World Para-Taekwondo Championships in Lausanne

Nick Butler in Inside the Games