The 2011 World Taekwon-Do Championships are already making an impact on Wellington city with over 1500 athletes and officials adding plenty of colour to the Capital.
There are over 40 nations competing at the World Championships which is being held March 9-13 event which is to be held at the TSB Arena at the Queens Wharf Events Centre.
Day one of the tournament features the bulk of the world junior competition (under-18) where Argentina and Poland are expected to excel. The World Championships commence at 10am with individual sparring knockout competition until 1.30pm. The afternoon session starts at 3pm until medal ceremonies at 7.30pm.
The senior World Championships get underway on Thursday until around 7pm on Sunday.
New Zealand is one of the best nations in the world at Taekwon-Do and will have around 500 athletes, officials and supporters at the World Champs.
New Zealand achieved its best ever result at the last World Championships in Argentina in 2009 where they placed second overall. The Kiwis won 13 gold medals and 32 medals in total. It is expected that Argentina, Russia the United States and Poland will be two of the strongest nations to compete in Wellington.
One of the stars of the New Zealand team at the 2009 World Championships in Argentina was Auckland’s Karl Van Roon.
Van Roon is a four-time World Champion but he also keeps himself busy with modelling and acting including a spot in one of the Underworld movies and recently graduated from Auckland University with first class honours in sport and exercise science.
Another star for New Zealand is Carolina Dillen from Auckland who is also a current world champion in individual patterns. She will be competing in her fourth world championship. Her partner, Mark Trotter is also in the New Zealand team.
The sport in New Zealand has 3,000 members and almost 100 clubs throughout the country.
2009 World Championship website www.itfnewzealand2011.com