PARIS, France (Aug 31, 2023) - International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President Andrew Parsons was in attendance this evening to watch the world’s best Para Taekwondo athletes compete in the finals of the Paris 2023 World Para Taekwondo Grand-Prix.
A total of 111 athletes from 30 countries and one Refugee Team as well as Individual Neutral Athletes (AIN) competed in the one-day event which was refereed by 71 officials.
Athletes competed across 10 K44 weight categories – five men and five women. The medallists of the W-47kg and W-65kg were lucky enough to be presented their medals by President Parsons.
Speaking at the Grand Prix, President Parsons said:
“It is amazing to be here, with just one year to go until the Paralympic Games. The feeling of anticipation is strong, but we still have a lot of work to do. These Games are going to be spectacular. Paralympic sport is stronger than ever before. We have a combination of incredible venues here, very close to iconic landmarks. Spectators will be back, so the atmosphere will be great and the sport itself will be excellent. I can't wait for these Games to happen.”
Commenting on the development of Para Taekwondo and the sport’s Paralympic debut in Tokyo, President Parsons added:
“Since Taekwondo was bidding to enter the Paralympic Games as a sport, I was already impressed with the level of the sport and the commitment of the International Federation to provide the best infrastructure for the sport. This is not only to get to the Paralympic Games but to evolve as well. It was an incredible debut in Tokyo. I was present for two of the competition days and I was absolutely impressed. The positive aspect is that the International Federation is not relying solely on their success in Tokyo. Competitions of the highest possible standard are taking place around the world. Their delivery of services to the athletes and the development programs are also incredible. We are very impressed with the short period that we have been working with World Taekwondo.”
During the day’s competition, President Parsons met with Refugee athlete Zakia Khudadadi and expressed his support to the European Champion who was knocked out in the quarterfinals here in Paris. President Parsons also took the time to pose for photographs with a number of appreciative athletes.
The full list of winners from the event can be found here.