With the Taekwondo competitions of the Olympic Games just concluded, many agree that the evolution of this sport has to do with globalization.
The president of the European Taekwondo Union, Sakis Pragalos, believes that it is a sum of aspects that help Europe to have a great success at the end of the day.
In this note, we will learn about these aspects.
Europe has more qualifiers by ranking than Asia, what do you think is the reason
for this high-level upturn?
In Europe we have invested a lot of energy together with our member federations to organize as many G1 events as possible. If you look at the pre-pandemic calendar, almost each weekend a G1 event was scheduled somewhere in Europe. That means that our athletes have tremendous access to high level competitions.
– Besides that, Europe was pioneer in organizing not only Senior European championships, but we in Europe introduced Junior Championships and also Cadets, Kids and under 21 European Championships.
That means that our athletes have a very big advantage to other athletes outside our region as they have learnt from very young age what it is to fight at the highest levels within Europe.
Could you tell us, which are the countries of this continent that have more
institutional support to develop the sport of Taekwondo.
Those countries that win medals at the Olympics have the opportunity to get
government funding for their programs in the country. Great Britain, Spain, France and Turkey all have full time professional training programs in which their athletes can fully
focus themselves on their sport, their education and all things that are important to
become the best. Also, ETU is now working on for a performance program as we
believe that all athletes should be able to follow their dreams. With the center, we hope we can help with that!
Some of Europe’s major capitals have become important venues for world
Taekwondo events. Why is this? How is the sport viewed in Europe?.
We love sports in Europe. But moreover, our member federations are very
professional and have excellent skills to organize events at the World level. Great Britain, Turkey, Bulgaria and Azerbaijan are just a few examples of countries that exactly know how to manage large, global events.
How is the relationship between the European Taekwondo Union and World
Excellent! My staff has daily contact with the WT office and the relationship between
them is on a friendly basis. We visit each other regularly and also have on a weekly basis
contact with the Secretary-General of WT, Mr. Rafaty. Dr. Choue is not only President of
WT but also a very close friend these things are of course beneficially for the
relationship between our organizations.