Medalists at Taekwondo at European Para Championships
Aug 16 2023

Para Taekwondo speaks a universal language

The stands at the Para Taekwondo finals are like a vibrant sea of colors, filled with supporters from all over Europe. The largest following is a striking one. Azerbaijan’s fans were clearly in large numbers. Their genuine devotion to their athletes was infectious.

Aida, a fan from Azerbaijan, traveled specially to the Netherlands to cheer on her compatriots. She passionately shared her feelings about Abulfaz Abuzarli’s victory. “This moment means everything to us. We are so proud of Abuzarli and the whole team. Their determination and perseverance inspire us all. It is an honor to be here and celebrate this victory together.”

In the K44 Men’s -80KG final between Serbia’s Nikola Spajic and Abuzarli, the difference is not made until the last second. For a long time, Abuzarli was looking at a deficit. At 6-1 behind, he seemed to injure himself, but he battled back. At 9-9, with a fantastic ultimate effort, Abuzarli managed to take the win (10-9) and with it the gold.

Not only the Azerbaijani supporters were present; the stands were a melting pot of cultures and nationalities. The supporters included Brits, quite a few Turks, Serbs, Croats and also some Dutch spectators, all of whom participated in creating a vibrant atmosphere. Despite British disappointment over the loss, sportsmanship remained high.

One British fan, Emma, who could hardly hide her disappointment, admitted honestly: “Of course I’m disappointed that we didn’t win. But to be honest, this event is great. The level of competition and passion is admirable. There is a great atmosphere.”

The fanatical following in the stands shows like no other that Para Taekwondo speaks a universal language, where boundaries quickly blur. Over the past three days, ten different categories, divided between men and women, competed in Ahoy.

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