Islamabad is hosting the Pakistan Open Taekwondo Championships next year, the first time the country will host an international competition in the sport. The tournament, set to feature cadet, junior and senior categories, is scheduled for October 24 to 30 in Pakistan’s capital city. Pakistan Taekwondo Federation President Waseem Ahmed says it will contribute to the Government’s initiative to make 2020 a year of tourism, as reported by Pakistani paper The News International.”It is a big event and will benefit Pakistan a lot,” he said. “It is an open event and I expect fighters from around 15 nations. We believe in tourism through sports.” Ahmed also says the competition would have a positive impact on the South Asian Games in 2021, which Pakistan is hosting in four cities.

“I had consulted with the Government and I had been told that the state would help me in the venture,” Ahmed said. Hosting an international event will give a lot of confidence to our athletes and it will in particular help them earn medals when we host the South Asian Games in 2021. It will help our officials and athletes and boost our organizing ability. “If we are able to conduct it smoothly then we could earn the right to host the Asian Championships.” World Taekwondo President Choue Chung-won congratulated Pakistan on hosting the competition. “This is a great moment to develop Taekwondo in Pakistan,” he said. “I look forward to seeing the success of the Pakistan Open.”