From the outset, the New Zealand organising team’s goal was to be “Remembered as the best world championships ever through the end user experience”.
We hope we have been able to come close to this goal.
The ITF XVII Senior and XI Junior Taekwon-Do World Championships began on the 9th of March 2011 with an emotional Opening Ceremony. The VIPs were welcomed with a traditional Maori “Pohwhiri”. Everyone was then treated to a slick and action packed children’s demonstration, performances by Maori cultural groups and the official opening speeches.
One of the many new innovations of this championships was to have the Opening Ceremony at the start of the tournament. Sounds logical – but something that has not been done before. We think the competitors in particular enjoyed this approach, rather having to come back in the evening later in the week.
Following the Opening Ceremony, competition got underway immediately. After some initial familiarisation with the new systems, coaches and teams enjoyed the quick flow between the warm up area and the competition floor accompanied by the Ring Marshalls. The warm-up hall contained large flat screen TVs streaming video of each ring and also the live draws in real time.
Something also trialled at the World Champs was the new version of the NESS scoring software, where the public (and competitors) can see the judges scores displayed on the screens during sparring. A summary also shows which competitor is leading at any time. There were mixed views as to whether this is something that should be used in the future.
New also was that multiple events (sparring, patterns, special technique and power) were all run at the same time in the arena. This made for a very exciting spectator event. Innovations in the areas of Power and Special Technique judging also made for fast running rings, with little delays or problems.
As well as the tournament itself, there were many additional events such as the ITF Congress held on Friday 11th March. Results from the voting held at the congress are published here: http://www.tkd-itf.home.pl/pub_web/ver_eng/ITFA16032011.html.
VIPs were also treated to an official reception by the Mayor of Wellington, Celia Wade-Brown. This was a very special evening held at the historic Mayoral Chambers and we were grateful for the Mayor’s support of the tournament. The Organiser Mr Lorantos and his wife Vienna also hosted the VIPs for a special dinner at his residence. It was an evening that all the VIPs will fondly remember.
The covereage of the tournament was again handled by Mr Doug Hanna of www.tkdaction.com. As many around the world know, his team’s photos and reports are second to none, and are an important part of the World Champs for those that can’t be there. Doug and his team took 27, 694 photographs, published 32 blog posts and sent 595 tweets!
For the first time we also had live streaming on the internet free of charge. The webcast attracted 57,057 visits. Our World Champs website (www.itfnewzealand2011.com) had 77,062 visits.
Some of the other innovations made for this tournaments included:
The Closing Ceremony was held on the last day of competition, and the highlight was the announcement and presentation of the 9th degree for Master Lan from Germany. A very special moment for everyone that witnessed this most popular Instructor becoming a Grand Master!
Thanks go to our sponsors and the support in particular of Major Events New Zealand, Wellington City Council and SPARC. Thanks also to the ITF Umpire Committee, the Tournament Committee and the ITF Board for their support and assistance.
On behalf of the organising team, we especially thank everyone who attended the World Championships in Wellington, New Zealand. Without your support by attending the event it would not have been successful.
Results, photos and reports can be found on the 2011 World Champs website: www.itfnewzealand2011.com.
Master Paul McPhail
Chairman – ITF Communications Committee
The World Champs Organising Team were: