World Taekwondo targets Commonwealth Games inclusion

World Taekwondo has formed a working group to explore the possibility of the sport being included on the programme for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, as well as future editions of the multi-sport event.

World Taekwondo cited the success of British athletes Bianca Walkden, Lutalo Muhammad and Jade Jones (pictured) at recent Olympic Games as a reason for its inclusion for the 2022 Games, stating that venues would be packed full of “knowledgeable and passionate fans” in Birmingham.

The working group has been formed by Commonwealth Taekwondo Union president Anthony Ferguson and features representatives from World Taekwondo’s events department, and British Taekwondo and GB Taekwondo.

World Taekwondo noted that 88 per cent of Commonwealth countries practice the sport and have an established national association. The governing body added that taekwondo would have a wide medal spread at the Commonwealth Games and provide equal opportunities for male and female athletes.

World Taekwondo’s proposal also states that the sport would share a Commonwealth Games venue with an existing indoor sport, eliminating the need for a new facility to be built.

World Taekwondo president Chungwon Choue said: “World Taekwondo has long been committed to making a valuable contribution to the Commonwealth Sports Movement. It would be an honour and a realisation of a dream for taekwondo to be included in the Commonwealth Games. We strongly believe that taekwondo would bring a wide range of benefits to the Commonwealth Games whilst simultaneously ensuring minimal impact on infrastructure requirements, operational costs and competition schedules.

“But our commitment to the Commonwealth Games Family goes beyond the Commonwealth Games. We want to continue to work with the Commonwealth Games Federation to develop taekwondo in Commonwealth countries and use the sport to build healthier, fairer and more peaceful societies.”

Ferguson added: “The sports program for the Commonwealth Games is very competitive and we fully respect the process of the CGF (Commonwealth Games Federation) and the Organising Committees in selecting the sports. However, we believe taekwondo would offer something new, exciting and completely different for Commonwealth audiences. There is no sport on the current program like taekwondo and it would attract new audiences to the event.

“With the popularity of taekwondo in England and the country’s proven track record in hosting world-class taekwondo events, we think taekwondo would make an excellent contribution to Birmingham 2022’s success and to the success of the Commonwealth Games in the long-term.”

The English city of Manchester is due to host next year’s World Taekwondo Championships, having hosted a range of Grand Prix events. London has also staged Grand Prix events in the past.