IOC President Thomas Bach visited Manchester Arena for the 2019 World Taekwondo Championships ©World Taekwondo

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach attended the evening session of the penultimate day of action here at the 2019 World Taekwondo Championships.

Bach was joined by IOC sports director Kit McConnell to watch Britain, Thailand and Italy take gold, awarding the medals for the women's under-49kg category. 

Before they sat down to watch the action, Bach was accompanied by World Taekwondo President Choue Chung-won to meet young taekwondo athlete and double-leg amputee Maisie Catt.

They also enjoyed a showcase of the taekwondo esports game by World Taekwondo Athletes’ Committee co-chair Pascal Gentil.

The first-person, interactive game is being developed and fuses the virtual world with real-life exercise.

Bach and Choue then visited the Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation booth, where they met members of the refugee team who are competing at this year’s competition under the World Taekwondo flag. 

“These were truly spectacular world championships with the sporting action matched only by the excitement and enjoyment of the crowds," Bach said. 

"And with 150 nations represented, Taekwondo is really showing that it is a global sport for big and small nations alike.”

President Bach met Maisie Catt, a young taekwondo athlete and double-leg amputee ©World Taekwondo
President Bach met Maisie Catt, a young taekwondo athlete and double-leg amputee ©World Taekwondo

This year's event features 975 athletes, the most to have competed at a World Championships. 

“It was a pleasure to host IOC President Thomas Bach here in Manchester for our record-breaking World Championships," said Choue. 

"President Bach has always supported our beloved sport and I thank him for being here with us to witness some of the world’s best taekwondo athletes in action.

“We were also grateful to have the opportunity to show President Bach some of the other initiatives we are working on at the grassroots level including our work with refugees around the world and our new esports game. 

"These initiatives are very important in helping us fulfil our social responsibility and ensuring we deliver on our mantra that peace is more precious than triumph.”

The World Championships are concluding today with the last set of semi-finals and gold-medal bouts.