By David Gold

Taekwondo -_Guillermo_Prez_3_AprilApril 3 - Mexican city Puebla has beaten Croatian candidate Split for the right to host the 21st World Taekwondo Championships in 2013, it has been announced.

The decision – made ahead of this year's junior World Taekwondo Championships in the Egyptian city, a five-day competition starting tomorrow – followed a vote of the ruling World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) Council in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

Puebla, not far from Mexico City in the centre of the country, beat Split by 18 votes to 11.

The senior World Championships – from June 17 to 23, 2013 – comes for the first time to Mexico, which won two gold medals in the sport through Guillermo Pérez (pictured above, on left) and Maria del Rosario Espinoza (pictured below) at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

Taekwondo -_Maria_del_Rosario_Espinoza_3_April
It is, however, the second time the tournament will be held in Latin America, after Ecuador held the contest in 1986.

South Korea will defend its women's title in 2013 and is looking to win back the men's crown after losing out for the first time in 2011 to Iran on home soil.

"I feel great joy," said Juan Manuel López Delgado, President of the Mexican Taekwondo Federation.

"We did very well in achieving a clear victory.

"It is flattering the trust the WTF council are giving.

"I know that Croatia could have been a good venue, but [we] worked hard and made ​​Mexico an event that will be unforgettable for all.

"It is something that excites me and makes me very happy," added Espinoza, who said holding "an event of this magnitude in our country is very big."

Meanwhile, Chinese Taipei was awarded the right to host the 10th World Junior Taekwondo Championships in 2014 in New Taipei City from July 23 to 27 – the first time the nation will have staged a world taekwondo event.

Senegal will stage the 2013 World Cup Taekwondo Team Championships and the fourth World Para-Taekwondo Championships in Dakar.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]