Freestyle poomsae has been added to the Taipei 2017 Summer Universiade programme ©WTF

The World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) has announced that the International University Sports Federation (FISU) has approved freestyle poomsae to be included in the Taipei 2017 Summer Universiade.

Taekwondo was an optional programme since 2003, but the FISU decided in 2009 to accept the sport as a compulsory event as of Taipei 2017.  

So as not to extend the competition period or the number of technical officials required for taekwondo competition at the Summer Universiade, freestyle poomsae will be staged simultaneously with the other poomsae events.

The addition of free-style poomsae is "expected to greatly enhance the opportunities for athletes, especially the young ones, and provide a new experience for spectators as well" according to the WTF.

Taekwondo has been made a compulsory at the Universiade as of Taipei 2017 ©WTF
Taekwondo has been made a compulsory at the Universiade as of Taipei 2017 ©WTF

“We are delighted that free-style poomsae has been added at the taekwondo competition at the Taipei 2017 Summer Universiade," said WTF President Chungwon Choue.

"The WTF has cooperated with FISU in its continuous work of FISU to promote university sports around the world, not only as a sport and but also a tool of education for the youth.

"These principles are closely aligned with the WTF’s as we have worked to ensure that taekwondo is more than a sport and that it teaches our practitioners values that will help them in all walks of life.

"We will continue to do our best for the success of the Summer Universiade.”

The Universiade will be the largest international sports event Chinese Taipei has ever hosted, having been named the Summer Universiade host in November 2011 by FISU, beating Brazilian capital Brasília.

The event will feature 17 sports, including swimming, diving, basketball, fencing, football, judo, table tennis, tennis and volleyball, and will be held in venues across Taipei, Keelung, New Taipei, Taoyuan and Hsinchu.