Queensland is set to host the world's finest Taekwondo athletes, presenting one of Korea's oldest martial arts in the southern hemisphere.
From Friday July 7 to Sunday July 9, the Morayfield Sport and Events Centre will be the venue for the Oceania Open Championships, the World Taekwondo President's Cup (Oceania), and the Australian Open, with 1,600 elite black belts from 45 countries set to participate.
Hosted by Australian Taekwondo and supported by the Moreton Bay Council, the events’ organisers are pleased to see strong entry numbers.
"We are delighted to welcome and host such esteemed international athletes who have chosen to attend and partake in our events," said Carlos Lakerdis, Tournament Director for Australian Taekwondo.
"We have a significant number of internationally ranked athletes, with many in the world top-10 across Olympic and Senior weight divisions. This is not only a boost for the event itself but also for Moreton Bay as a sporting and tourism destination."
With world-ranking points on the line, several athletes seeded in the top-10 of their respective weight division (July rankings) will touch down in Australia this week, ready to give their all.
Among the international lineup is American-Hungarian Omar Gergely Salim, The youngest son of former Olympic champion Gergely Salim, who is seeded at Number 1 in the World Kyorugi Rankings, Male-54kg, Senior Division.
With four top-5 finishes in the last six months, including a second place finish at the (Kyorugi) 2023 U.S Open Championships, the 2022 World Championship gold medallist will be preparing to showcase his talent and determination on Australian soil.
Korea's Jun Jang is also preparing to fly down under as the Number 4 seed in the July World Kyorugi Rankings, Male-58kg, Senior Division. The 26-year-old secured a bronze medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and, more recently, a bronze at the Roma 2023 World Taekwondo Grand Prix.
Danish dynamo and 2020 Tokyo Paralympic gold medalist (Female, -58kg) Lisa Gjessing will also make her way to Australia for the World Taekwondo President's Cup (Oceania) and the Australian Open, with the four-time World Champion adding to the international competition's excitement.
With many athletes coming off significant competitions overseas last month, including the 2023 World Championships in Baku and the Rome Grand Prix, the Australian athletes in the field will be looking to capitalise on their recent international successes.
Leon Sejranovic from Victoria secured a bronze medal at the 2023 World Taekwondo Championships, to bring home Australia's first senior sparring medal since 2013, followed by Queenslander Liam Sweeney who secured a silver medal at the Luxembourg Open.
However, the Aussies will be fighting for more than just ranking points. The World Taekwondo President's Cup (Oceania) and the Australian Open are mandatory events for Senior Olympic Division athletes vying for a place on Australia's 2024 Olympic Team. While athletes seeking to meet World Taekwondo's Paralympic requirements also have access to three World Taekwondo G events.
The Oceania Open Championships will be held on July 7, the World Taekwondo President's Cup (Oceania) on July 7 and 8 and the Australian Open on July 9. All events will take place at the Morayfield Sport and Events Centre.
Event disciplines across the three events include Kyorugi (sparring), Para-Kyorugi (sparring) and Poomsae (patterns), with ages ranging from 12 to 60+ years.
Spectators can purchase tickets online from the Australian Taekwondo website or at the door.