Mexican Taekwondo: A success story

23/06/2020

Taekwondo has become one of the most successful Olympic disciplines for Mexico, since its appearance on the official program in Sydney 2000, adding up to seven medals.

The World Taekwondo Federation announced that Cancun will host the 2020 Grand Prix Final. Image: Wikimedia
The World Taekwondo Federation announced that Cancun will host the 2020 Grand Prix Final. Image: Wikimedia

Taekwondo, originally from Korea, arrived in Mexico in 1969, with the master Dai Won Moon, considered the father of Taekwondo in Mexico, who introduced the practice of this sport, which was originally known as "Korean Karate", because people did not remember the name or found it difficult to pronounce.

Since then, and after 51 years of its practice in the country, Mexican taekwondo has won medals in World Cups, Central American Games, Pan American Games, World University Games, and of course, in all its official editions of the Olympic Games.

María del Rosario Espinoza boasts three Olympic metals

Víctor Estrada, bronze in Sydney 2000; Óscar Salazar, silver in Athens 2004; Iridia Salazar, bronze in Athens 2004; María del Rosario Espinoza, gold in Beijing 2008, Guillermo Pérez, gold in Beijing 2008; María del Rosario Espinoza, bronze in London 2012 and María del Rosario Espinoza, silver in Rio 2016, are the names of the national warriors who have been engraved in the history of this sport, which is one of the most practiced in Mexico.

Mexican Taekwondo: A success story
Mexican Taekwondo: A success story

But before entering the official competition program, taekwondo was presented as an exhibition sport at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games, where our country won three bronze metals thanks to the performances of Monica Torres, Manuel Jurado, and Enrique Torroella. In Barcelona 92, also as an exhibition sport, Mexico achieved a gold medal with William de Jesús Córdoba and two bronze medals with Mónica Torres and Dolores Knolle.

Mexico already has two tickets to Tokyo

For the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, which were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in the men's +80 kg category, the runner-up from Quintana Roo, Carlos Adrián Sansores Acevedo, already has his place assured, and in the women's +67 kg category, an internal selection is scheduled to take place between triple Olympic medalist María Espinoza and medalist Briseida Acosta, to define the national team.

World tradition

The nationals also compete in the World Taekwondo Championship, which is held every two years, since its first edition, Seoul 1973 and for the second issue, Seoul 1975, Mexico achieved third place in the medal standings by country, by winning two silver medals, on behalf of Jaime de Pablos and Ramiro Guzman and a bronze medal with the Tamaulipeco Moritz von Nacher.

In the last edition, the World Taekwondo Championship Manchester 2019, Mexico achieved one of its best performances outside the country, in decades, after adding three silver medals with Maria del Rosario Espinoza, Brandon Plaza and Carlos Sansores and a bronze medal thanks to Briseida Acosta, a result that confirmed our country as one of the leading nations in these competitions.

The first Mexican world champion was Oscar Mendiola, who won the title in Stuttgart, Germany 1979; on the other hand, Edna Díaz was the first women's world champion for Mexico in Madrid, Spain 2005, while María del Rosario Espinoza was crowned in Beijing 2007 and Uriel Adriano won the scepter of the orb, in Puebla, Mexico, 2013.

With information and photo courtesy of CONADE