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World Championships Aided by SOS
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In case anyone comes in for a thorough beating at the World Taekwondo Championships in Beijing, organizers have ensured that the best medical service will be on hand thanks to a deal with International SOS.

Sixteen of the nation's best taekwondoists will battle it out in the tournament, which will draw almost 1,000 participants from 121 countries and regions.

"The world championships is the most important event of the sport before the 2008 Beijing Olympics. We are committed to ensuring the best service," said Qiu Dalong, director of medical department of the organizing committee.

"All the services we are going to offer are supposed to live up to the Olympic standard. We chose SOS as the event's partner is part of the efforts."

Taekwondo is a martial art originated in Korea that sees competitors look to score points using an array of blows, mostly kicks.

International SOS is the world's leading provider of medical assistance, international healthcare, security services and outsourced customer care.

"Our operations span five continents. We have facilities in more than 70 countries, including 27 alarm centers and 25 International SOS clinics. We can, therefore, provide assistance and services to clients and members wherever they are located," said John Williams, Managing Director of SOS China.

Williams said SOS will co-operate with local hospitals to offer medical support and moreover help transfer anyone who is injured to their original nationality.

"We develop local knowledge and expertise through our own staff and by partnering with the local community. Our goal is always to find solutions that fully support our clients and, whenever possible, benefit the local population.

"The SOS clinics in Beijing will be open 24-hours during the tournament."

The World Taekwondo Championships, held from Friday to next Tuesday in the capital city, has attracted most of the world's best athletes, including local Olympic champions Chen Zhong and Luo Weil.

A record 973 overseas athletes will take part in the tournament, including three Olympic champions and eight champions from the Worlds two years ago.

Athens 58kg gold medalist Chu Mu-Yen from Chinese Taipei, 68kg champion Hadi Bonehkohal of Iran and 80kg winner Steven Lopez of US are the biggest stars in the men's field, while China's Chen-and-Luo-inspired team is tipped to be the strongest medal contender in the women's competition.

(China Daily May 15, 2007)

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