|Athletes perform during the 2018 World Taekwondo Poomsae Championships in Taipei, Taiwan. Courtesy of Goyang City Government|
By Ko Dong-hwan
World Taekwondo (WT) will host inaugural online poomsae championships to sustain its fan base and worldwide athletic participation amid the COVID-19 global pandemic that has shut down all in-person taekwondo events.
The Online World Taekwondo Poomsae Championships will open on Nov. 15, WT said from its headquarters in Seoul's Jung District on Thursday.
Participants can upload videos of their best poomsae performances ― a set of defining motions and poses ― that seven referees selected from a pool of 60 from 37 countries will judge.
Judging will be based on the standard poomsae scoring system that takes into account the power, technique, breath, gaze and balance of the movement.
Competition schedules for preliminaries, semi-finals and finals will be determined based on the number of participants.
The event offers two programs. The "Online WT G2 Poomsae Championships" is open to individual athletes who are members of their national teams, while the "Open Poomsae Championships" is for family members of all ages in pairs and teams.
|South Korean Shin Seung-jung coached Indonesia's national taekwondo poomsae team in 2018. Courtesy of Shin Seung-jung|
"We first discussed the idea of hosting an official Online World Taekwondo Poomsae Championships in May to continue providing opportunities for athletes and fans to compete and practice taekwondo despite the COVID-19 pandemic," WT President Choue Chung-won said.
"Our belief that taekwondo can be a force for good has only strengthened during the pandemic. Therefore, it was essential we developed an online event that was open to male and female athletes of all ages as well as family members.
"At a time when some families are having to spend time apart, this event will bring grandparents and grandchildren, and everyone in between, together."
The finals for the top eight participants in the WT G2 Championships will be live-streamed.
WT is considering hosting online poomsae championships every year and is working on developing virtual-reality and augmented-reality for mobile applications.
"We will deliver high-quality visual poomsae championships so the fans can feel the same impression at home that they would get at the venue," Choue said. "The Online Poomsae Championships will be a new standard during this COVID era."