World and Olympic champions from the most developed countries in the sport of Taekwondo, showed their full potential at the 2023 Belgian Open. This important world ranking event (G2) was classified as a «small world championship», due to the presence of athletes from Korea, China, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, France, Great Britain, Croatia, Spain, Thailand, countries with Olympic history.

Taekwondo Kyrougui athletes from more than 60 countries competed (52) categories, senior (16), cadet (16) and youth (20), in the majestic Soeverein arena during the Belgium Open (G2) 17th and 19 th of March 2023 in the beautiful city of Lommel (BEL).

More than 2000 people, including athletes, coaches, judges, WT and ETU officials, volunteers, media, promoting Taekwondo and insisting on world peace as the taekwondo central movement.

This Taekwondo WT event organized by Taekwondo Vlaanderen took place in the Sooverein Arena of Lommel (BEL).

It had 12 combat areas under the KPNP electronic protection system and the support of the best judges from the European Taekwondo Union (ETU) and the World Taekwondo Federation (WT).

The president of Taekwondo Vlaanderen, Erik Baert, and part of the board composed by the officials,  Veronique Casters, Hassan Sadeghi, John Alles, Moustapha Akkouh, expressed their happiness for the great impact of this sport tournament, while thanking the world community from five continents for their attendance.

This time the competition has registered more than 2000 people between athletes, coaches and officials which promises a phenomenal Taekwondo community.

The Belgian Open has more than 42 years of existence and is one of the most prestigious in Europe and the world, with the best in history participating during its existence.

«The Belgium Taekwondo Championships is the most legendary event in Europe. I’m very happy for this very successful International Tournament», said John Halles, part Belgium board.


For this reunion in Europe, the Belgian Federation invited to the Technical Director of arbitration of the World Federation, Song Chul Kim, the Head of WT referees, Amely Moras, Inseon Kim, advisory member of the WT, also served as technical delegate, Philippe Bouëdo.

Philippe Bouëdo, technical delegate.

ETU and WT members

A representation of members and directors of the European Taekwondo Union (ETU) were present at the tournament, highlighting the presence of Fred Buitenhuis, Anna Vassallo,Ouman Dildar, Ioannis Mouroutsos, and Kenneth Schunken.

Ioannis Mouroutsos, Sport Director (ETU), Fred Buitenhuis (ETU), Moustapha Akkouh WT educator, Inseon Kim, Counsil member WT and
Ouman Dildar (ETU) in Brussels.


The cadets and juniors were at the centre of attention. During the second day of the Belgian Open international championship, we observed stellar combats with children and young people who will be the future stars of world taekwondo.

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.

We must highlight the great work of the international judges and the excellent work of the volunteers and staff of the Belgium Open 2023, as they were always attentive working for the development of the championship.


Participating nations: Canada, United States, Belgium, Italy, Brazil, Mexico, Netherlands, Denmark, Croatia, Palestine, Israel, Czech Republic, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Poland, Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Greece, Ivory Coast, Thailand, Uzbekistan , China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Tongo, Australia, Spain, Austria, Turkey, Norway, Germany, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Burneo,Hungria, Indonesia, Romania, Lebanon, Puerto Rico, France, Kosovo, and others.

Best referees of the event in cadet, youth, senior are the following:

Women:  Sealove Dervishi (Denmark), Ana Lopez Boluda (Spain)

Male: Imad Elmarhraoi (Belgium) and Dimitry Kim (Uzbekistan).

The awards were handed out by the President of the Belgian Taekwondo Federation, Erik Baert, the Technical Director of the World Taekwondo, Song Chul Kim, the World Taekwondo delegate, Philippe Bouëdo, the world taekwondo refereeing chief, Amely Moras and refereeing chiefs of the event, Hassan Sadeghi, David Beckers.

They have done some excellent days of work. We have to continue to be better each time, the directors agreed. The president of Belgium TKD Federation thanked all the work and invited them for the 2024 version.

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Carlos Hernández

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