The Belgium Taekwondo Championships 2022 turned 42 years old, making it, together with the Netherlands Open, perhaps the most legendary event in Europe and the world.
For this new reunion in Europe, the first one was in Dürres Albania at the President’s Cup after two (02) years of inactivity for Covid, the Belgian Federation invited the top leader of Taekwondo Dr. Chungwon Choue, who enjoyed the return to the competition.
The Taekwondo leader participated in several institutional activities supporting the intentions of the Belgian federation to grow internationally with big events.
Dr. Chungwon Choue welcomed more than 1800 people, including athletes, coaches, judges, officials, volunteers. He highlighted his interest in promoting Taekwondo and insisting on world peace as the central movement of his administration.
1200 athletes from more than 67 countries competed (52) categories, senior (16), cadet (16) and youth (20), in the majestic Soevereinarena during the 19th and 20th of March 2022 in the beautiful city of Lommel (BEL).
The president of Taekwondo Vlaanderen, Erik Baert, and part of the board composed by the officials, Moustapha Akkouh, Veronique Casters, Hassan Sadeghi, John Alles, expressed their happiness for the great impact of this sport tournament, while thanking the world community from five continents for their attendance.
Europe debuts new rules.
Antonio Barbarino and Ioannis Mouroutsos, part of the high-level officials of the European Taekwondo Union (ETU) were present at the competition, especially assessing the issue of the rule changes.
The cadets and juniors were at the centre of attention. The youngsters experienced the rules proposed by World Taekwondo, which involve winning by rounds, among other considerations.
On this point, some coaches privately confessed that it is necessary to take a good look at them, discuss them and be really honest about what is positive and what can be changed.
The women’s competition was very even. World champions and Olympic medallists Lauren Williams and Bianca Walkden, gold medallists in -73 kg and +73 kg, respectively, stood out.
Also winning gold were refugee athletes Dina Pouryones -46 kg and Kimia Alizadeh in -62 kg, both unbeatable in their categories.
Other athletes who took home gold medals at the G2 championships were Croatia’s Bruna Duvancic -49 kg, who defeated Spain’s Adriana Cerezo in the final.
Spain’s Laura Rodriguez, who was unbeatable in the -53 kg category, defeated Hungary’s Luca Patakfalvy for the gold medal.
Raheleh Asemani from Belgium was incredible in -57 kg. The athlete guided by Leonardo Gambluch defeated the strong Spanish Arlet Ortiz in her final fight for the gold medal.
Two-time Olympic champion Jade Jones was present but failed to medal, losing her bout to Spain’s Ortiz in a thrilling fight.
France was well represented with world and European medallist Magda Wiet, who was fantastic in -67kg. The Frenchwoman outshone her opponents with a fast and explosive Taekwondo.
Highlights in men
On the sporting side we have to mention the high level demonstrated by the athletes present at this event.
Hungary’s Omar Salim was superior in -54 kg, while in the upper 58 kg division Kazakhstan native Samirkhon Abanakirov showed incredible talent defeating Australia’s Baile Lewis in a great final.
In -63kg France’s Souleyman Alphilippe was immense against his rivals, making it clear that he is a strong candidate to be France’s starter for Paris 2024. In the final bout against Canada’s Braven Park, the French athlete was superior with his body kicking techniques.
In the men’s -68 kg there were surprises. France’s Theo Lucien won a tough fight against Greece’s Konstantinis Chamalidis.
In the -74 kg men’s division, the experienced Daniel Quesada, one of the world ranking leaders, captured gold after defeating Nedzad Husic of Burma.
Another who stood out once again on the international circuit was Croatian Toni Kanaet who was the winner in the -80 kg category, taking the final victory over Greek competitor Apostolos Telikostoglou.
Great Britain’s rising star Caden Cunningham was the best in -87kg after winning the battle for gold against Spain’s expert Raul Martinez.
Finally in heavyweight +87 kg, American Jonathan Healy took the gold in the category over Spain’s Ivan Garcia.
Taekwondo of the best
In general, the event took place with that sporting and martial spirit that is usually seen in Taekwondo championships, where it is always more important to maintain fair play.
Gradually the tournament was solving some technical details that delayed some areas of combat on the first day of the event, but that was solved.
We must highlight the great work of the international judges and the excellent work of the volunteers and staff of the Belgium Open 2022, as they were always attentive working for the development of the championship.
Videos + Pictures in Social Media Facebook: mundotaekwondo.com @instagram: @mundotaekwondo