By Paul Osborne at the Kassado Plaza Hotel in Moscow 

The 5th WTF World Para-Taekwondo Championships saw 24 of the 37 nations collect medals ©ITGThe 5th World Para-Taekwondo Championships saw a total of 24 nations pick up medals, as the organisers celebrated record participants at the event here. 

Following the successful two-day event, the first of its kind to span for more than a single day, the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) expressed its delight at the number of participating nations at the Dinamo Sport Palace and, in particular, the diverse spread of medals, won by 24 of the 37 competing countries.

Hosts Russia took top honours in terms of medals after securing 15, including four gold, with their men's team crowned best of the tournament.

Turkey fell in behind with seven medals and saw their women's team named the best of the Championships, whilst Iran were third with three medals, including two gold, with all the nation's medals being won in the men's competition.

The men's Good Fighting Spirit and Active Participation awards went to Morocco and Guatemala respectively, with Lesotho and Colombia taking the women's prizes.

The diverse medal spread was warmly welcomed by the WTF as it continues in its hopes of seeing taekwondo included in the Paralympic programme at Tokyo 2020.

Following the medal ceremony inside the Dinamo Sport Palace, WTF President Chungwon Choue, said: "This has been the best World Para-Taekwondo Championships yet.

"When the WTF launched our Para-taekwondo Committee in 2005, our objective was to make our sport a sport for all - a sport with no athlete left behind.

"So it has been wonderful to see so many different nations represented by this diverse group of athletes on the podium this weekend.

"I hope all these inspirational competitors and their coaching teams will go back to their countries ready to share our message: that taekwondo can fuel hope that knows no boundaries and is hampered by no disability."

Hosts Russia walked away with the highest medal tally at the World Para-Taekwondo Championships with 15, including four gold ©ITGHosts Russia walked away with the highest medal tally at the World Para-Taekwondo Championships with 15, including four gold ©ITG

WTF secretary general Jean-Marie Ayer added: "I think the WTF and the global taekwondo family can look back at the success of the 5th World Para-taekwondo Championships with great pride.

"It was particularly satisfying to see our new classification code in action and working well, with closely matched, exciting bouts all the way through the rounds.

"We set new records for the number of participating nations and the number of nations who won medals.

"That has given us great belief that we can keep activating more and more of our 206 Member National Associations on all five Paralympic continents and bring Para-taekwondo to a truly global audience."

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