Olympic and world champion Vito Dell'Aquila is one of the athletes named for the European Games ©Getty Images

The first 224 athletes have been confirmed for the taekwondo competition at the Kraków-Małopolska 2023 European Games.

Eight men's and eight women's divisions will be contested in Poland, at the Krynica-Zdrój Arena.

Among the big names confirmed by organisers European Olympic Committees and the European Taekwondo Union (ETU) is Italy's Vito Dell'Aquila, the reigning Olympic and world champion in the men's under-58 kilograms division.

Croatia's Matea Jelić, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic champion in the women's under-67kg, is another to be named as well as a number of gold medallists from November's World Championships in Guadalajara in Mexico.

These include Hungary's Omar Salim in the men's under-54kg, Spain's Daniel Quesada in the men's under-74kg and Croatia's Lena Stojkovic in the women's under-46kg.

Sarah Chaari of Belgium won the women's under-62kg world title in Guadalajara while Serbia's Nadica Božanić won the under-73kg gold in the Mexican city.

Britain will boast a typically strong squad including two-time Olympic champion Jade Jones in the women's under-57kg and former world gold medallist and Olympic silver medallist Bradly Sinden in the men's 68kg.

Triple world champion Bianca Cook will be in action at over-73kg, while joining Dell'Aquila in the Italian squad will be 2019 world champion Simone Alessio in the men's under-80kg.

Taekwondo appeared at the first European Games in Baku in 2015 but did not feature last time out in Minsk in 2019.

Competition in Krynica-Zdrój, which lies about 77 miles to the south of Kraków, will take place between June 23 and 26.

Tokyo 2020 champion Matea Jelić of Croatia is also set to appear at Kraków-Małopolska 2023 ©Getty Images
Tokyo 2020 champion Matea Jelić of Croatia is also set to appear at Kraków-Małopolska 2023 ©Getty Images

A European Games qualification tournament is due to be held in Romania from April 8 to 9 for extra athlete places.

Spots for a Polish athlete have been reserved in each weight division, as well as universality place.

"We are very grateful that the European Olympic Committees have welcomed taekwondo back into the programme," said ETU President Sakis Pragalos.

"I wish to congratulate all athletes and their NOCs who have already secured a place for these prestigious Games.

"For our athletes, it means that with the G4 ranking, valuable points can be won for the Olympic qualification on the way to Paris 2024.

"I wish the EOC and the NOCs best of luck in the preparation of the Games."

Hasan Arat, the chairman of the EOC Coordination Commission for the European Games, added: "Congratulations to all the athletes whose places at this summer's European Games have been confirmed by the ETU.

"We are delighted to welcome the sport of taekwondo back into the European Games and know that it will provide plenty of excitement for all the fans watching both in the arena and on television.

"I want to thank President Pragalos and the ETU for their hard work and cooperation as we prepare for the Games and I look forward to welcoming both them and their athletes in June."

The full list of qualified athletes can be viewed here.