Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], October 1 (ANI): The inaugural ceremony for the main stage of the 2020 Online Open National Taekwondo Championship was held virtually on Thursday.
World Taekwondo President Chungwon Choue, Indian Olympic Association (IOC) President Narinder Batra, India Taekwondo President Namdev Shirgaonkar, and 2000 plus participants of the tournament were present in the ceremony.
The preliminary rounds of the Championship started on September 28 and the main event will start today with a total of 1400 participants across 17 categories moving on through to the next rounds.
"I am happy to know that India Taekwondo has organised the online Taekwondo Poomsae Championship. Over the last few years, taekwondo in India has suffered because of governance issues, now under the leadership of Namdev Shirgaonkar, India Taekwondo has taken the first concrete steps to correct past mistakes and usher a bright new future for Taekwondo in this great country. India has such great potential and I strongly urge all the Taekwondo members to come together and work under these new solid, positive changes," said Choue in his address to the taekwondo fraternity in India.
"The first 2020 Online Open National Taekwondo Poomsae Championship is the right initiative at the right time as the global pandemic has negatively impacted the sporting fraternity. I welcome this great initiative by India Taekwondo and thank the athletes participating but mostly commend the dedication by the organisation to spearhead this tournament," he added.
The first of its kind online tournament will be conducted in complete transparency by a team of 18 international referees that form the referee team for the 2020 Online Open National Taekwondo Poomsae Championship.
"I am very happy to note that India Taekwondo under its President, Namdev Shirgaonkar, and Secretary-General, Mr. Amit Dhamal along with officials of India Taekwondo are organising the first Online National Taekwondo Poomsae Championship," said Batra.
"Poomsae is a part of the Asian Games and I take this opportunity to wish the athletes, officials, coaches, and all those who are a part of this event the very best and look forward to all the good work that the helm of India Taekwondo are undertaking for a brighter future for Taekwondo," the IOC president added.
The tournament will be broadcast live on YouTube and the official social media pages of India Taekwondo which will feature the scores at the end of each day to let the participants know of their progress.
"We are proud of what we are able to achieve and execute for our taekwondo athletes in India. It has always been our first priority at India Taekwondo to get the athletes back to the sport that had halted all over the world due to the COVID - 19 crisis," said Shirgaonkar as he declared the start of the tournament.
"The 2020 Online Open National Taekwondo Poomsae Championship was conceptualised with the idea of getting our athletes back in the competitive spirit as soon as possible and we are ecstatic that our efforts have been brought to fruition today," the India Taekwondo President added.
India Taekwondo is the first member of the national association that has launched an official sporting tournament for the athletes to compete at the national level during the Covid-19 crisis. The final will be held on October 4 2020 and winners will be announced at the same time through a virtual commemoration ceremony. (ANI)