By Daniel Etchells

Chungwon Choue, WTF President, has high hopes for Para-taekwondo ©WTFWorld Taekwondo Federation (WTF) President Chungwon Choue is hopeful Para-taekwondo will earn its place on the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic programme following the successful conclusion of the European Championships in Belek.

Taekwondo is still in with a chance of making it to the Japanese capital in six years time as the International Paralympic Committee has deferred a final decision on the complete line-up of 23 sports until its next Governing Board meeting in Abu Dhabi from January 30 to February 1.

Badminton has already been awarded one spot as a new sport on the Tokyo 2020 programme.

The WTF Para-Taekwondo Committee met today for an official debrief on the European Championships and to discuss the action plan for the sport's development.

Among the key topics discussed were the world-ranking system for Para-taekwondo, which the WTF hopes to introduce next year, and the ongoing evidence-based classification research.

"This is a very exciting time for Para-taekwondo," said Choue.

"We are experiencing a dramatic rise in participation as more and more of our 206 national federations are recognising the power the sport has to engage with a whole new group of athletes.

"As we look to create new international championships, we will provide more opportunities for our athletes to participate in elite competitions.

"We hope that we will have the honour of being included in the 2020 Paralympic programme to give our athletes the opportunity to compete at the very pinnacle of Paralympic sport."

The third European Para-Taekwondo Championships were a record-breaking success ©FacebookThe third European Para-Taekwondo Championships were a record-breaking success ©Facebook

A record 75 male and female athletes from 15 countries competed at the European Championships across four classifications and six weight categories during the elite, one-day event.

With 50 per cent more athletes participating at this year's Championships compared to the previous edition, more athletes competed in each division making the event more competitive and of a higher standard than ever before.

Classification research and the WTF's ongoing injury surveillance system were implemented throughout the Championships to help refine the WTF's classification rules and ensure athletes' safety.

"The third European Para-Taekwondo Championships have been a great success and arguably one of the best continental Para-taekwondo Championships," added Choue.

"The appetite that exists for Para-taekwondo not just in Europe but worldwide is clear and we are working hard to ensure that we are delivering Para-taekwondo Championships on every continent to meet this demand."