Kicks off in Aruba on November 23, 2012.

Kicks off in Aruba on November 23, 2012.

Santa Cruz, Aruba, Nov 24: “It is greatest feeling ever to be part of the World Cup Team Championships. Taekwondo is my passion. Sharing my passion with my best friends and working together for the same goal, it is fantastic”.- Marlene Harnois (France), Bronze medalist of the 2012 London Olympic Games

The 2012 World Cup Team Championships has kicked off on November 23, 2012, Santa Cruz, Aruba for a three-day run, drawing a total of 161 athletes (93 men and 68 women) of 13 male teams and 10 female teams. Of 162 participants, 12 taekwondo Olympians including 6 Olympic medalists have attracted a great attention from the media

List of Olympic Medalist:

Yousef KARAMI: Iran, Bronze medalist – 2004 Athens Olympic Games

Terrence JENNINGS: USA, Bronze medalist – 2012 London Olympic Games

Mark Lopez: USA, Bronze medalist – 2008 Beijing Olympic Games

Diana Lopez: USA, Bronze medalist – 2008 Beijing Olympic Games

Marlene Harnois: France, Bronze medalist – 2012 London Olympic Games

Su-Jeong LIM: Korea, Gold medalist – 2008 Beijing Olympic Games

The first two days feature the group stage adopting the round-robin system and the single-elimination- based quarter finals. On the last day, all semi-finals and finals will be staged.

On the first day of competition, the participating athletes have fascinated spectators by delivering speedy and powerful attacks at a breath-taking pace and performing highest level of techniques, showcasing the dynamism of taekwondo.

In Women’s Division, the Russian team in Group A and the Croatian team in Group C have won two matches consecutively, making it to the quarter-finals regardless of the result of the last match of the group stage which will be held on the morning of the November 24.

In Men’s Division, the Chinese in Group D has become the first team that has confirmed its place in quarter-finals by winning both of the matches today. It beat Aruba by 36 to 3 and Chinese Taipei by 32 to 15.

This year edition of the WTF World Cup Team Championships has adopted ‘tag-team match’ format for the first time.

The 1st round shall be conducted based on traditional team match format for one (1) minute per each competition. It means that the athletes shall compete against his/her counterpart of the opposing team in the order decided before the match. Final score of each team that is total points scored by all athletes of the team shall be accumulated.

The 2nd round shall be conducted based on ‘tag-team match format’ for 5 minutes. Athletes can be replaced regardless of order but each athlete should attack minimum three times for replacement.

This new format has been well received not only by the spectators but also by the participating athletes. Athletes say that they let out their power and energy, because the bout time for individual athlete is relatively short, and feel less pressure and enjoy the competition more.

Marlene Harnois of France says, “It is greatest feeling ever to be part of the Team Competition. Taekwondo is my passion. Sharing my passion with my best friends and working together for the same goal, it is fantastic.

Team competition is different from individual competition. It is different in a good way. It is a boost. I can enjoy competition more. It is more fun and less pressure. If the team competition is in the Olympic Games, I am sure that the number of audience will explode”.

This new format came to the stage as an exhibition events in major WTF promoted events, including the 2010 WTF Taekwondo Tour held in Moscow, Russia, and the 2011 WTF World Championships held in Gyeongju, Korea. —- WTF

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