GB Taekwondo today announced the eight ‘wildcard’ selections who will compete in the inaugural World Taekwondo Grand Prix, part of UK Sport’s Gold Event Series, completing a not-to-be-missed, thirteen-strong team for Great Britain.
Competing in the men’s competition at +80kg will be recent team GB Taekwondo returnee, Mahama Cho, who currently holds the Dutch and German Open Championship titles.
In the -80kg category National Champion Andrew Deer, who recently won silver at the Serbian Open, has secured his place alongside London 2012 medallist Lutalo Muhammad.
Mancunians Jordan Gayle (-68kg) and Dominic Brookes (-58kg), who claimed Gold and Silver accolades respectively in Serbia, can expect a warm welcome from the home crowd as they complete the men’s wildcard line-up.
Fresh to the GB Taekwondo Academy, Junior European Champion Georgia Barnes will compete at 49kg alongside British National Champion, Stephanie Allen (+67kg) on Friday 13th December. Taking to the mat on Saturday and Sunday respectively, will be British National Champions, Maria Reynolds (-67kg) and Caroline Fisher (-57kg).
The event, which will see 250 of the world’s top athletes across eight different weight categories come together to battle it out for vital qualification points ahead of Rio 2016, is one of the strongest ever fields seen in the sport. All 16 of the 2013 World Championship gold medallists and seven gold medallists from the 2012 Olympics are expected to attend the Manchester-based event, with spectacular matches expected to take place across three days of world-class Taekwondo action.
On being chosen to represent Great Britain as a wildcard for the inaugural Grand Prix and competing in his hometown, Jordan Gayle said; “It’s an incredible honour to be able to take part in the world’s first Taekwondo Grand Prix and to do so in my home city is a privilege. The field assembled is incredibly strong so fans can certainly expect matches that they don’t want to miss!”
On bringing the eight wildcards into the field, GB Taekwondo Performance Director, Gary Hall, said; “As host of the Grand Prix we have the fantastic opportunity to showcase the developing talent and rising stars within the UK. The wildcard athletes chosen have all demonstrated dedication and talent in our sport and are now taking their first steps on the Road to Rio 2016.”
The World Taekwondo Grand Prix is the final event in Manchester’s series of Autumn/Winter Major Sports Events which played host to The Super League Grand Final, NBA – The Oklahoma City Thunder and the Philadelphia 76ers, The AJ Bell World Squash Championship, The UCI Track Cycling World Cup and The Rugby League World Cup.
Taekwondo fans attending the Grand Prix can choose from three types of tickets – day, night or a combined pass, with a choice of standard and premium seats available at http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/WTGP13.
The full WTF list of athletes invited to take part in the World Taekwondo Grand Prix Manchester can be found here.