Minsk is preparing to host two significant taekwondo competitions in half a year.
From 7 to 16 September, the Belarusian capital will host the European championship in Olympic weights at the Sports Palace.
Together with it, the Paralympic European Championship will be held. Preparation for these events was discussed by Belarus' Minister of Sport and Tourism Alexander Shamko with first vice-president of the European Taekwondo Union Fred Buitenhuis.
The guest expressed hope that on the eve of a landmark event - the Second European Games - the aforementioned tournaments will be a good rehearsal for the organizers.
Fred Buitenhuis, first vice-president of the European Taekwondo Union:
I really hope for a good organization of the European Championship. After all this will be the first time Minsk will have hosted such landmark events. Of course, there were other contenders, but Belarus is the center of Europe. The country is geographically advantageous.
Engaged in taekwondo are more than 17 million people in the world, this sport is among the six most popular.
Alexander Shamko, Minister of Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Belarus:
The conceptual decision has already been made, we found acceptable conditions which will not affect some further global expenses. The current practice in the world of taekwondo - to conduct European championships in para-taekwondo - is also a social factor, it certainly has good prospects and will only serve to strengthen the image of our country.