The European Taekwondo Championships held at the Manchester Regional Arena in the United Kingdom, had the Turkish team as overall champion in both men’s and women’s categories.
This event was presented with British Taekwondo as hosts of a luxury event, where the best of the European continent gathered to get the 40 points that this championship awarded thanks to its G-4 status.
The Turkish Taekwondo Federation stood at the top of the podium with five gold medals won by Merve Dincel (-49kg.), Zeliha Agris (-53kg.), Hakan Recber (-63kg.), Hatice Kubra Ilgun (-57kg.) and Emre Kutalmis Atesli (+87kg.).
The great Turkish performance was followed by Great Britain, Spain, France and Croatia with two gold medals and Serbia, Italy and Hungary with one gold.
The women’s team podium had Turkey first, followed by Spain and France in second and third place respectively, while in the men’s division, Turkey was escorted by France and Croatia.
The main synonym of the European Championship was the excellent organization and punctuality from start to finish, a virtue that characterizes the hosts.
As highlighted at the beginning of the event, the novelty was the introduction of the Paralympic modality, which participated in permanent interaction with the Olympic modality and who also had Turkey at the top, both in men and women.
Tributes and recognitions
The European Taekwondo Union first paid tribute to the Hungarian-born Danish Joseph Salim, who passed away at the age of 54 on April 8, requesting a minute of silence. It should be noted that his nephew Omar Gergely Salim won the gold medal of this championship in the -54 kg. division representing Hungary.
ETU paid tribute to two outstanding figures who were in the place: The world champion and now president of the British Taekwondo, Sarah Stevenson. The other honoree was Henk Meyer of the Netherlands, who was awarded with the 9th Dan. Meyer is a legend who holds the record of having been the first Westerner to win a World Championship in Korea 1985, a merit reserved until then only for Korean athletes.
“We all as ETU family feel very happy after celebrating this event, and to able to reunite with all representatives around the continent. We are pleased to had provided a first class scenario to our athletes to earn as much points as possible in their path to Paris 2024. On behalf of president Sakis Pragalos we want to thank you all for your participation and support to made this event a complete success” said ETU Secretary General, Antonio Barbarino.