KUALA LUMPUR: Wushu is set to make its debut at the 11th World Games in Birmingham, Alabama, the United States, from July 7-17 next year.
A total of 10 gold medals will be up for grabs in wushu.
The International World Games Association (IWGA), during its annual general meeting, agreed to include martial arts sports sambo and wushu in next year’s meet.
The IGWA, in a statement today, said that five men and women’s events each would be contested under the taolu discipline, namely changquan (long fist), nanquan (southern fist), taijiquan (tai chi chuan), daoshu (broadsword) and jianshu (straight sword).
Wushu, which is also referred to as kungfu and been a popular martial art since the Qin and Han dynasties (221 BC-AD 220) in China, was previously contested in the 2009 and 2013 World Games as an invitational sport.
Taolu is a non-combat discipline that is more performative with a blend of martial arts, while the sanda discipline is regarded as a free-fighting competition, the IGWA said.
Meanwhile, Wushu Federation of Malaysia (WFM) president Datuk Chong Kim Fatt hailed IGWA’s decision.
“A good initiative by the IWGA, for us it’s good news. We believe our athletes, who won gold medals in the 2019 World Championships and are ranked among the top three in the world, can put up commendable performances at the World Games.
“For now, our athletes are preparing for this year’s Hanoi SEA Games and the 2022 Asian Games. With this inclusion, we will have another important event to prepare for next year. We will also try to appeal for the sanda discipline to be included in the World Games as it is getting popular worldwide,” he told Bernama.
Malaysia bagged two golds, five silvers and a bronze at the 2019 Shanghai World Championships, all from the taolu discipline.
Apart from wushu, other notable sports listed for the 2022 World Games are archery, billiards, bowling, dancesport, karate, kickboxing, muay thai and squash.
According to the IWGA, about 3,600 athletes from 100 countries will take part in the 34 sports to be contested next year. – Bernama