Manchester; 16 December 2013: The inaugural World Taekwondo GP in Manchester has been labelled a “huge success” by WTF President Chungwon Choue following the close of the three day competition, which attracted 231 athletes from 59 countries, on Sunday evening.

Broadcast in 98 countries, the inaugural World Taekwondo GP demonstrated the truly global nature of Taekwondo as medals over the three days of competition were shared between 16 different nations, including Great Britain, Spain, Russia, Sweden, Chinese Taipei, Iran, Korea, Gabon, China, Canada, Brazil, USA, France, Isle of Man, Turkey and Mexico.

Speaking after the event, WTF President Choue said: “I would like to congratulate GB Taekwondo, UK Sport, the event organisers and officials and all the athletes that competed at the World Taekwondo GP for making it such a brilliant and memorable event. The competition was a huge success and has set the standard for the World Taekwondo GP Series.”

The WTF is currently in the process of selecting the hosts for next year’s World Taekwondo GP Series. China, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Qatar, Russia, and the United Kingdom have all declared an interest in hosting the World Taekwondo GP and met with the WTF in Manchester to discuss their candidature. The WTF is set to announce the host of next year’s competition in July 2014, at the beginning of next year.

WTF Secretary General, Jean-Marie Ayer, added: “This has been a fantastic event. It has showcased what a truly global sport Taekwondo is and demonstrated just how much potential there is for Taekwondo to significantly enhance its commercial programme.

“As the first event of the series, this competition has given us the chance to speak with athletes, coaches and MNAs to listen to what has worked well and where we can improve so that in the future we can build on the success of this event and provide competitions of the very highest quality.”


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Gomez on Top of World After Denying Olympic Champion Jones More Gold

Eva Calvo Gomez broke British hearts as she earned Spain a second WTF World Taekwondo Grand Prix title in Manchester tonight (Sunday).

And Russia also doubled up their final gold medal tally as Alexey Denisenko emulated compatriot Olga Ivanova (+67kg) by claiming the men’s -68kg crown.

But the last night of the inaugural Grand Prix belonged to 22-year-old Gomez, last year’s World University Games champion and current World Championship bronze medallist.

She was certainly second favourite against London 2012 Olympic champion, Jade Jones, in the eyes of a partisan home crowd.

However, Calvo Gomez held her nerve, especially as Jones made a late rally, to complete a 4-2 win and follow Brigide Enrique (-49kg) on to the top of the podium.

For Jones, there was frustration with her silver medal after an impressive return to form and recovery from back trouble.

She totalled 39 points in her four previous victories including a 15-2 win against GB team mate, Caroline Fisher, and a 4-3 success over Olympic final rival, Yuzhuo Hou in the penultimate round.

The consistent Chinese star had knocked out Korea’s -57kg world champion, So-He Kim in the quarter-finals.

“I really wanted to be the first British female to win a Grand Prix title,” said Welsh star Jones.

“But it’s been a difficult year because I have had a long term injury.

“I also put myself under too much pressure thinking I had to win every fight because I am Olympic champion.

“Now though I am in a much better place mentally. And the Olympic gold medal is still at the side of my bed even though I won silver tonight.”

Denisenko certainly didn’t start favourite for gold in the ultra competitive -68kg category but there was no denying his ultimate win as British challengers, Michael Harvey, Jordan Gayle and London 2012 competitor, Martin Stamper, suffered early heartache.

Denisenko, stepping up after winning -58kg Olympic bronze last year, defeated Canada’s 2009 world silver medallist, Maxime Potvin, 1-0 in the final. However, the 20-year-old’s finest moment came with an 8-5, quarter-final success against Korea’s twice world champion and 2012 Olympic silver medallist, Dae-Hoon Lee.

Iran’s Mohammad Motamed and Behnam Asbaghikhanghah were bronze medallists.

But taekwondo is a sport defined by small margins and Brits Harvey and Gayle wouldn’t disagree. Serbian Open champion Gayle forced Potvin into sudden death in the opening round only to miss out 10-9.

Fellow Mancunian Harvey lost his bout against Russian Vasilii Nikitin on a ‘superiority’ judges’ verdict. The fight finished 7-7 after three regulation rounds, there was no further scoring after two minutes extra time before Nikitin was awarded the fight. Liverpudlian Stamper lost 12-2 against Hun Kim of Korea.



-68kg final: Alexey Denisenko (Russia) bt Maxime Potvin (Canada) 1-0.


-57kg final: Eva Calvo Gomez (Spain) bt Jade Jones (Great Britain) 4-2.


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The World Taekwondo Grand Prix – The Final Fight

The inaugural World Taekwondo Grand Prix ended on a high this afternoon following three day’s intense fighting.

Celebrating victory in the women’s -57 category was Spain’s Eva Calvo Gomez, who beat GB’s Jade Jones to the coveted World Taekwondo Grand Prix title. In the men’s -68kg division Gold went to Russia’s Denisenko with a 1-0 defeat of Canadian Maxime Potvin.

A full list of prize winners can be found to follow:

Female -57

1st Calvo Gomez, Eva, ESP (193)

2nd Jones, Jade Louise, GBR (97)

3rd Liborio, Floriane, FRA (75)

3rd Hou, Yuzhuo, CHN (38)

Male -68

1st Denisenko, Alexey, RUS (169)

2nd Potvin, Maxime, CAN (32)

3rd Asbaghikhanghah, Behnam, IRI (110)

3rd Bagheri Motamed, Mohammad, IRI (111)

For all results visit:

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Session 1 – Sunday 15th Dec

As session one of the final day of the World Taekwondo Grand Prix draws to a close, see to follow athletes confirmed for this afternoon’s semi-finals:

Female -57

Jade Jones (GBR) Vs. Yuzhuo Hou (CHN)
Floriane Liborio (FRA) Vs. Eva Calvo Gomez (ESP)

Male -68

Alexey Denisenko (RUS) Vs. Behnam Asbaghikhanghah (IRI)
Mohammad Bagheri Motamed (IRI) Vs. Maxime Potvin (CAN)

Follow the action as it unfolds here:

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All the action from the second day of the WTGP



Lutalo Muhammad promises “fireworks” when he finally meets Aaron Cook but thanks to Russian Albert Gaun taekwondo’s ‘Battle of Britain’ is on hold until next year.

But while Gaun temporarily put paid to the big bang theory with victory over Cook in the semi-finals, Muhammad erupted in joy after a thrilling victory in the final of the -80kg weight division.

Last year’s Olympic bronze medallist left it late before obtaining parity with 21-year-old Gaun, a World Championship bronze medallist at -74kg earlier this summer. Having tied the scores at 1-1, the ‘Walthamstow Warrior’ then had a last second, three point head shot chalked off by the judges.

 Undeterred, he recovered his poise to snatch golden point and become Britain’s second WTF World Grand Prix champion after heavyweight Mahama Cho’s success 24 hours earlier.

“That would have been a fantastic fight,” smiled Muhammad when asked about his near miss against Beijing Olympian Cook.

“I know it’s the fight the fans want to see. It would have been nice but the nature of this sport means we fight so often, especially with this Grand Prix series, I am sure me and Mr Cook will meet and it will be fireworks when we do meet.”

A handshake between the GB star and his Isle of Man rival at the presentation ceremony showed there is little animosity between the pair.

There is always respect between me and Mr Cook,” said Muhammad. “It’s just a healthy rivalry.

“It is taekwondo’s Sugar Ray Leonard, Tommy Hearns and Marvin Hagler. It’s the match people want to see but we will just have to wait a bit longer.

“It’s all about Rio now for me. This is the first major step for Rio and I am happy I was able to put my big sized 12 stamp into the lead. I am happy to win this first Grand Prix and hopefully it is the first of many to come.”

Gaun certainly did his best to put paid to both Brits in quick succession. He was never behind against Cook, quickly racing into a 5-0 lead before a trademark, four point scoring, reverse head kick brought Dorset born, Manchester based Cook back into contention.

However, Guan refused to yield the initiative and he led 9-8 with only four seconds remaining.

Cook enjoyed the lifeline of a penalty point to force sudden death as the Russians appealed unsuccessfully against the referee’s decision. It mattered not as Gaun secured the decisive golden point to take him through to the final.

Cook, who won a thrilling quarter-final against America’s five time world champion and double Olympic gold medallist, Steven Lopez, wiped back the tears but admitted: “I am absolutely gutted. It was a very tight match and really close all the way.

“But I have had some hard matches today and I just came up short. Fair play to Lutalo, he made it to the final but I would have loved to be there.

“Every time I got through a round and he got through a round, it built the 
pressure. I am gutted but I just didn’t quite have enough. I will be back.”

The -80kg division lived upto the pre- tournament hype with Britain’s Andrew Deer revelling in the partisan home atmosphere to beat Germany’s world champion, Tahir Gulec, 17-8 in the last 32. World number one Ramin Azizov didn’t survive beyond the last 16, beaten by Turkey’s Ridvan Baygut, one of Muhammad’s five victims.

Chinese Taipei enjoyed a night of mixed fortunes on the distinctive black and white mat. Cheng-yang Wei took the -58kg weight division title with a 6-5 win over Chung Chia Chia of South Korea, a category that saw world champion Tae-Moon Cha stunned by Britain’s Dominic Brookes in the last 16.

However, Wei’s compatriot, Chung Chia Chia lost 9-2 against Sweden’s Elin Johansson in the -67kg weight division. Johansson has enjoyed a tremendous year winning Opens in the US, Russia and Israel but tonight’s victory for the 23-year-old tops the lot.

Men - 58kg final:

Chen-yang Wei (Chinese Taipei) bt Taehun Kim 6-5

 Women’s -67kg final:

Elin Johansson (Sweden) bt Chung Chia Chia (Chinese Taipei) 9-2

Order of Play for Sunday, December 15 (10.30am start)


 -68kg: Jordan Gayle (Manchester), Michael Harvey (Manchester) and Martin Stamper (Liverpool)


 -57kg: Caroline Fisher (Barnsley) and Jade Jones (Bodelwyddan, Flint)


 Results (GB only):

 December 14:

 Men 58kg: Dominic Brookes (Manchester)

  • Round One (Last 32): bt Meisam Bagheri (Iran) 12-3
  • Round Two (Last 16): bt Tae-moon Cha (South Korea) 25-13
  • Quarter-final: lost on sudden death (4-4 after 3 rounds) to Hadi Loron (Iran)

 -80kg: Andrew Deer (Tamworth)

  •  Round One (last 32): bt Tahir Guelec (Germany) 17-8
  •  Round Two (Last 16): lost 7-3 to Steven Lopez (USA)

 Lutalo Muhammad (Walthamstow)

  • Round One (last 32): bt Sen Qiao (China) 8-1
  • Round Two (last 16): bt Nabil Hassan (Jordan) 12-4
  • Quarter-final: bt Ridvan Baygut (Turkey) 8-5
  • Semi-final: bt Yunus Sari (Turkey) 6-0
  • Final: bt Albert Gaun (Russia) in sudden death (1-1 after three rounds)

 Women: -67kg:

Maria Reynolds (Liverpool)

  • Round One: lost 13-0 to Paige McPherson (USA).




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Session 1 – Saturday 14th Dec

The second day of the inaugural World Taekwondo Grand Prix has offered thrilling and heart-breaking moments in equal measure so far. As the crowds arrive to watch the final rounds this evening, below is a summary of the athletes through to the semi-finals:

Female -67

Haby Niare (FRA) Vs. Chia Chia Chuang (TPE)
Anastasiia Baryshinikova (RUS) Vs. Elin Johansson (SWE)

Male -58

Chen-Yang Wei (TPE) Vs. Damian Valadez (MEX)
Taehun Kim (KOR) Vs. Hadi Loron (IRI)

Male -80

Lutalo Muhammad (GBR) Vs. Yunus Sari (TUR)
Aaron Cook (IMN) Vs. Albert Gaun (RUS)

Tune in to the live stream as the action continues right through to action-packed finals time -

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Into the quarter finals! Day 2 of the WTF World Taekwondo Grand Prix


The second day of the WTF World Taekwondo Grand Prix has opened in suitably dramatic style with a number of surprise results.

Reigning world champion Tahir Guelec of Germany lost out to the tune of 8-17 in favour of Great Britain’s Andrew Deer.

Olympic champ Sebastian Crismanich was unable to win for Argentina against Russian Anton Kotov, who goes on to compete against Italy’s Mauro Sarmiento in this afternoon’s quarter finals.

And USA’s Paige McPherson will go head to head with Swiss Nina Klay, after defeating Maria Reynolds in the day’s opening play.

Isle of Man’s Aaron Cook is still in with a shot against GB’s Lutalo Muhammad in tonight’s final bout, after both men won their day’s first fights.

Tune in to the live stream as the action continues right through to action-packed finals time –

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