Michael Harvey can’t quite match Michael Palin for air miles but the GB Taekwondo international is just one more long haul trip from requiring a new passport.
But if it means booking a trip to Rio in two-years time Harvey is happy to be a frequent flyer in search of Olympic qualification.
Next stop for the Beijing Olympian and five of his team mates is next month’s WTF World Grand Prix in Astana, Kazakhstan. (August 29-31). It follows his recent trip to the Far East for the last Grand Prix in Suzhou and following Korean Open.
“I have been a lot of places but Kazakhstan is a first,” says Mancunian Harvey, the 2012 European champion.
“I actually don’t have any spare pages in my passport. Fortunately, I don’t think we need a visa for Astana otherwise I would have had to send off for a new one.
“Because of the new ranking system I’ve been to a lot more places in the last 12 months,” added Harvey who has also competed in the Middle East and Azerbaijan during 2014.
“You just get back from one tournament, have a few weeks back home and then we are packing to go off again. But it is good to test yourself against the best on a regular basis.”
Harvey will join Luxor Open and Fujairah Open champion, Ruebyn Richards, fighting at -68kg in Astana. And he’s looking to stabilise in the weight division after alternating between -68kg and -63kg for the last couple of years.
“I am probably going to settle more on the 68’s now than I have in the past,” he explained. “After the European Championships, when I fought at -63 and didn’t do too well, we made a decision that I shouldn’t keep dropping down.
“Despite that I am still our top ranked 68 because the points from -63 transfer over. I was in the world’s top 10 for a while but have just slipped out.
“However, I am in not too bad a position,” added Harvey, hoping third time lucky will land him a first Grand Prix medal.
“These tournaments are certainly tough because you are up against the top 32 in the world every time,” he explains. “We’ve had to adjust our training because we are in competition phase so often now.
“But it just means we are at our best all the time. Hopefully, I can have a few more tournaments at -68 and climb back up the rankings again.” Harvey and Richards are joined in Astana by Manchester Grand Prix winners, Lutalo Muhammad and Mahama Cho, European silver medallist, Damon Sansum and London 2012 gold medallist, Jade Jones.
*Tickets are now on sale for the Manchester round of the World Grand Prix (October 24-26) by clicking here.
-68kg: Michael Harvey (Manchester), Ruebyn Richards (Nottingham)
-80 kg: Lutalo Muhammad (Walthamstow, London), Damon Sansum (Elgin)
+80kg: Mahama Cho (Stockwell, London)
-57kg: Jade Jones (Flint)