Registration has officially opened today for this year's World Para-Taekwondo Championships in Samsun, Turkey.
Following the sport’s dramatic increase in global participation and successful inclusion on the Paralympic Games programme for Tokyo 2020, a record attendance is expected for the sixth edition of the event, scheduled to be held on September 17.
Athletes will be seeded based on the world rankings, which were implemented by the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) earlier this year to improve competitions and ensure that the very best compete against one and other.
The Championships have been assigned a G8 class ranking, the highest possible under the WTF’s system.
As part of the WTF’s commitment to making the sport as fair and accessible as possible, the Championships will feature poomsae competitions for athletes with a neurological impairment for the very first time.
Poomsae competitions for intellectually disabled athletes will also be held following their successful debut at last year’s World Championships in Moscow, along with kyorugi competitions.
"We are all very excited about this year’s WTF Para-Taekwondo Championships," said WTF President Chungwon Choue.
"Last year’s Championships in Moscow were a great success and I have no doubt that our friends in Samsun will host an excellent event.
"It was an honour to be included in the 2020 Paralympic Games sports programme and a validation of our one taekwondo philosophy and commitment to being a sport for all."
He added: "Over the last couple of years we have worked very hard to develop Para-taekwondo and realise its full potential across our 206 member associations.
"Being included in the Paralympic Games has only accelerated the sport’s growth.
"We know we still have a lot of room for further development ahead of our debut at the Paralympic Games in 2020, but this time in Samsun the world will see just how far we have developed and just how dynamic, exciting and inclusive our sport is."
The WTF has worked closely with International Organisations of Sports for the Disabled (IOSDs) to guarantee the competitions for athletes of all impairments are aligned with global best-practice.
This has been reflected by the International Wheelchair & Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) officially recognising the Championships, along with the International Sports Federation for Persons with Intellectual Disability (Inas) and the Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association (CPISRA).
"We are honoured to be hosting the sixth WTF Para-Taekwondo Championships," said Metin Sahin, President of the Turkish Taekwondo Federation.
"This is the biggest event of the year for Para-taekwondo and I am sure the world’s elite athletes will put on an excellent show as they bid to become world champions.
"Taekwondo is very popular in Turkey and our passionate fans will provide a spectacular atmosphere throughout the event."
July 2015: World Taekwondo Federation reveal eight members of Para-Taekwondo Governing Board
May 2015: Taekwondo seeking opportunities in major games following Paralympic inclusion
May 2015: Latest Para-taekwondo world rankings published following use of new system
February 2015: Britain begins planning for taekwondo's Paralympic debut at Tokyo 2020
February 2015: World Taekwondo Federation President visits Olympic capital to discuss sport's development after Paralympic inclusion