Col Waseem with Ammar
President Pakistan Taekwondo Federation (PTF) Colonel (retired) Waseem Ahmed Janjua (left) with UAE-based Pakistani Taekwondo player Ammar Ahmed after he won gold medal in Islamabad last year. Image Credit:

Islamabad: Pakistan Taekwondo Federation (PTF) has informed the World Taekwondo that it is willing to send its athletes to compete at this year’s World Junior Championship.

The world Taekwondo in an online survey has asked the Taekwondo playing nations whether their players would be able to participate in this year’s World Taekwondo Junior Championships scheduled to be held in Sofia, Bulgaria in October this year.

The World Taekwondo has already announced that it was hoping to stage the Grand Prix Taekwondo Finals and Gala in Cancun in November as planned. The organisation also said that the World Taewkondo Junior Championships and the World Taekwondo General Assembly in Sofia, Bulgaria in October are also set to be held as scheduled.

No training camps

“The organisation has sought our comments in an online survey. We have told them that we are ready to send our athletes, but certain issues may deny our participation in the event,” Colonel (retired) Waseem Ahmed Janjua, President of Pakistan Taekwondo Federation (PTF), told APP. Col Janjua said the World governing body was also told that the PTF was unable to hold training camps due to COVID-19 situation in the country.

Travel restrictions

“We have also informed the organisation that Pakistan was also among the countries whose citizens are not allowed to enter Europe for six months due to travel restrictions related to coronavirus pandemic].” He said that even if a decision is taken to ease travel restrictions for Pakistani athletes, the federation would face financial difficulties to arrange their participation in the event for lack of funds.

Funding issues

“Though we have been issued the annual grant, the amount is not enough to cater to our needs,” he added. He said the online training of four to five male and as many female players was continuing, but he noted that the onlie training was not good enough to prepare athletes for international events.

Pakistan Open 2020

The PTF is also preparing to hold its first two mega international events including the Pakistan Open (G-1) 2020 and the South Asian Region Championships by the end of October. The first event [Pakistan Open] is the first World Taekwondo certified event of its kind to be held in Pakistan and is scheduled to begin on October 24. While, the second event [South Asian Region Championship], which is also the first of its kind at the regional level is scheduled to take place soon after the conclusion of the first event.

Col Janjua said so far no decision had been taken to postpone these events. “Due to the coronavirus spread, the World Taekwondo has been reviewing the situation every month. We have still two months to hold these events. But these will only take place on scheduled dates if the COVID-19 situation in our country gets better and travel restrictions are eased,” he made it clear.