Manchester will host the WTF World Taekwondo Grand Prix in October 2014, the World Taekwondo Federation has announced. The decision was taken by the federation at their Executive Council meeting in Taipei City, Chinese Taipei, following a successful bid by GB Taekwondo together with UK Sport and Manchester City Council.
Grand Prix events have also been awarded to the Chinese city of Suzhou and to Astana, Kazakhstan. Mexico will host the season ending Grand Prix Final in Queretaro, in December.
Manchester hosted the inaugural Grand Prix in December 2013, an event which was broadcast live on the BBC and in 97 countries worldwide. The event sees the world’s best athletes come together to compete not just for the Grand Prix title, but also for valuable ranking points in the lead up to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Chungwon Choue, World Taekwondo Federation President, said: “We are extremely excited about the WTF World Taekwondo Grand Prix”.
“The inaugural event in Manchester last year was a great success and served to highlight the passion and enthusiasm that exists amongst fans to see regular Olympic-standard competition between the world’s best athletes.”
Chairman of GB Taekwondo, Jeremy Beard said: “Having worked closely with the World Taekwondo Federation over the last couple of years to develop the concept of the Grand Prix, we are delighted to be hosting it in Manchester once again.
“The event is a great showcase for the sport and provides a worthy stage for the best of our British athletes to compete against World and Olympic Champions alike.
“Our 2013 Grand Prix champions, Lutalo Muhammad and Mahama Cho, certainly benefitted from the fantastic home support and we hope to give them a memorable show again in October.”
Adrian Tranter, President of British Taekwondo, said “I must thank WTF President Dr Choue for again having the confidence in us to host one of the flagship Grand Prix series events in Manchester. As Taekwondo fans, our club members will be excited to come along & enjoy watching the superstars of our sport, especially our own GB Team athletes”.
“It promises to be an even better line up & spectacle, there is a real buzz & an excitement about it already. This is indeed excellent news for us all at British Taekwondo”
Head of Major Events at UK Sport, Esther Britten said: “UK Sport is delighted the WTF has awarded the 2014 WTF World Taekwondo Grand Prix to Manchester and we look forward to continuing to grow this successful new event product in partnership with the City of Manchester, the World Taekwondo Federation and GB Taekwondo. As part of UK Sport’s Gold Event Series we welcome the opportunity to continue to build a successful legacy for the sport of Taekwondo in the UK.’
Councillor Rosa Battle, Manchester City Council executive member for culture and leisure, said: “As the home of GB Taekwondo, Manchester is a fantastic choice for the WTF World Taekwondo Grand Prix.
“Manchester hosted the inaugural competition last year which proved incredibly popular and I am sure the 2014 event will build on that success.
“This is a great chance for local residents to witness some of the world’s best athletes competing on their doorstep and it will also draw sports fans to the city from across the world for what is certain to be a breath-taking event.”
The Grand Prix will be staged at Manchester Central, October 24-26, 2014. Further details will be announced in due course on the GB Taekwondo website, http://www.gbtaekwondo.co.uk