Largest Ever World Championships Kick Off in Korea June 24

By Bill Kellick | June 23, 2017, 10:29 a.m. (ET)

 

(June 23, 2017) – When the World Taekwondo Championships open Saturday in Muju, Korea, it will feature the largest number of participants in the sport’s history.

Nine hundred and seventy-one athletes from 183 countries are registered to fight at the World Championships, which run June 24-30. In addition, a refugee from Iran, who is now a resident in the Netherlands, will compete as a one-person refugee team under the WTF flag – a first for a World Taekwondo Championships.

Previously, the 2009 World Taekwondo Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark, had been the biggest ever with 928 athletes from 142 nations competing.

This year’s event will be officiated by 796 officials and 100 international referees. The venue in Muju will be the Taekwondowon, a massive, purpose-built taekwondo training and competition facility set in the scenic Muju Valley in southwestern Korea.

The first World Championships were held in Seoul in 1973, and take place once every two years. Muju will mark the seventh time the championships have been held in Korea. The 2017 World Championships are the 23rd edition of the event.

Every gold medalist from the 2016 Rio Olympics, in four female and four male weight categories, will be competing in Muju. Among the female fighters, Great Britain’s Jade Jones is the only double gold medalist competing. Hometown favorites will be Hye-ri Oh and Sohui Kim. Among the male fighters are Ahmad Abughaush, who won Jordan its first-ever Olympic medal ever, and Cote d’Ivoire’s Cheick Sallah Junior Cisse, who won his nation its first-ever Olympic gold medal in the last second of his bout in Rio.

Moreover, of the total 24 overall medalists from Rio, 21 will appear in Muju. However, the World Championships have double the number of weight categories as the Olympics – eight female and eight male – so some athletes who faced each other in Rio will be fighting in different categories in Muju.

The U.S. team is comprised of an interesting mix of seasoned veterans and inexperienced newcomers. The six Americans with previous world championship experience on the senior level – Aziza Chambers (Springfield, Ohio), Charlotte Craig (Murrieta, Calif.), Jackie Galloway (Wylie, Texas), Stephen Lambdin (Colleyville, Texas), Steven Lopez (Sugar Land, Texas) and Paige McPherson (Sturgis, S.D.) – boast a combined eight world championship medals and five Olympic medals.

The 10 U.S. fighters appearing in their first senior world championship include six teenagers: 18-year-old Alejandro Chang (Ashburn, Va.), 18-year-old Madelynn Gorman-Shore (Littleton, Colo.), 19-year-old Tyler Miyagishima (Woodland Hills, Calif.), 16-year-old Austin Tran (Coppell, Texas), 16-year-old Danielle Wassell (New Caney, Texas) and 18-year-old Ara White (Largo, Fla.).

World Championship Schedule (click on weight division names to see draw sheets)

DATE

PRELIMINARY ROUNDS

MEDAL ROUNDS

Saturday, June 24

Women’s -46kg (Danielle Wassell) & Men’s -54kg (Austin Tran)

 

Sunday, June 25

Women’s -49kg (Charlotte Craig) & Men’s -74kg (Jaysen Ishida)

Women’s -46kg (Danielle Wassell) & Men’s -54kg (Austin Tran)

Monday, June 26

Women’s -67kg (Paige McPherson) & Men’s -68kg (Jacob Grace)

Women’s -49kg (Charlotte Craig) & Men’s -74kg (Jaysen Ishida)

Tuesday, June 27

Women’s -53kg (Aziza Chambers), Women’s +73kg (Jackie Galloway) & Men’s -58kg (Tyler Miyagishima)

Women’s -67kg (Paige McPherson) & Men’s -68kg (Jacob Grace)

Wednesday, June 28

Women’s -73kg (Madelynn Gorman-Shore), Men’s -87kg (Christian Suh) & Men’s +87kg (Stephen Lambdin)

Women’s -53kg (Aziza Chambers), Women’s +73kg (Jackie Galloway) & Men’s -58kg (Tyler Miyagishima)

Thursday, June 29

Women’s -57kg (Ara White) & Men’s -63kg (Alejandro Chang)

Women’s -73kg (Madelynn Gorman-Shore), Men’s -87kg (Christian Suh) & Men’s +87kg (Stephen Lambdin)

Friday, June 30

Women’s -62kg (Amanda Bluford) & Men’s -80kg (Steven Lopez)

Women’s -57kg (Ara White), Women’s -62kg (Amanda Bluford), Men’s -63kg (Alejandro Chang) & Men’s -80kg (Steven Lopez)

 

COACHES

The coaching staff for the American team consists of Brian McCutcheon, Juan Moreno, Sherman Nelson and Joseph Salim

Below you will find the coach/athlete pairings. As this is a team event in which every athlete cannot choose their own personal coach, the USA Taekwondo High Performance Department has worked with each athlete to allocate them a world championship coach who is most suited to giving them the best chance of success in the competition, considering their fighting style and many other factors. 

Women's Team

Coach

Danielle Wassell

Moreno

Charlotte Craig

Moreno

Aziza Chambers

Moreno

Ara White

Nelson

Amanda Bluford

Moreno

Paige McPherson

Moreno

MadelynGorman-Shore

Nelson

Jackie Galloway

McCutcheon

 

Men's Team

Coach

Austin Tran

Nelson

Tyler Miyagishima

Salim

Alejandro Chang

Moreno

Jacob Grace

McCutcheon

Jaysen Ishida

McCutcheon

Steven Lopez

Moreno

Christian Suh

Salim

Stephen Lambdin

Nelson


In addition, the team will be complemented by athlete trainers Darin Carr, Adriana Gonzales, Andreea Kovacs-Lester and Dennis White.

LIVE STREAMING & LIVE SCORING

Taekwondo fans will be able to watch live scoring of the 2017 WTF World Taekwondo Championships on the WTF mobile app and on the WTF website for the first time, ever.

The live scoring will include points of every bout – real time, as they are scored – and how they are scored. This new innovation will complement the existing live TV stream of the event.

The World Taekwondo mobile app is free to download and is available for Apple iOS and Android devices. Live scoring will also be viewable on the WTF website at www.worldtaekwondo.org. The live stream of every match on each of the tourney’s five fields of play can be seen at the app and website as well. MORE INFO.