Host Great Britain, Spain and Russia took one gold medal each on the opening day of the inaugural 2013 WTF World Taekwondo Grand Prix Final in Manchester on 13 December, 2013.
Great Britain’s Mahama Cho required a fourth golden-point round to earn his country the gold medal in the men’s +80kg division against Brazil’s Guilherme Cezario Felix.
After three rounds of competition, Cho and Felix were tied at 2-2 and his right-hand punch in the fourth sudden-death round gave him the victory, exciting the home fans.
In the category, the bronze went to Gabon’s Anthony Mylann Obame and Korea’s Dong-min Cha.
“I did my best and my biggest dream has come true,” said the 24-year-old Cho shortly after the final match. “My next dream is the 2016 Rio Olympics and I am confident that I will make it.”
Cho, who started taekwondo at the age of 8, said he won the final match against Felix at the 2012 French Open.
In the women’s -49kg final match, Spain’s Brigida Yague Enrique easily defeated Korea’s So-hui Kim 9-1 to earn her country the gold medal.
Yague Enrique, the silver medalist at the 2012 London Olympic Games and four-time world champion, needed a fourth golden-point round to reach the final match against Chinese Zhao Yi Li.
In the category, the bronze went to China’s Zhao Yi Li and France’s Yasmina Aziez.
In the women’s +67kg category, Russia’s Olga Ivanova beat Korea’s In-jong Lee 2-1 in the final match to take the gold medal.
Mexico’s Briseida Acosta Balarezo and the Netherlands’ Reshmie Shari Oogink shared the bronze medal in the division.
Russian Ivanova, the gold medalist in the women’s +73kg division at the 2013 Puebla World Taekwondo Championships, advanced to the final match by crushing the Netherlands’s Oogink 12-3. Korea’s Lee reached the final match as
she outpointed Mexican Maria del Espinoza 9-6.
A total of 231 athletes, including 115 males, from 59 countries are competing for top honors at the 2013 WTF World Taekwondo Grand Prix Final event, which kicked off on 13 December for a three-day run at the Manchester Central Exhibition Complex.
For the first time ever in WTF history, all semifinal and final matches are conducted on a black-mat court, which are televised live about 100 countries around the world.
The Grand Prix final features four male and four female Olympic weight categories and the maximum number of athletes per Olympic weight division is 32.
Host Great Britain, Sweden and Chinese Taipei clinched one gold medal each on the second day of the inaugural 2013 WTF World Taekwondo Grand Prix Final in Manchester, the United Kingdom on 14 December, 2013.
Great Britain’s Lutalo Mustafa Muhammad, the bronze medalist at the 2012 London Olympic Games, needed a fourth golden-point round to grab the gold medal in the men’s -80kg category against Russia’s Albert Gaun.
After three rounds of competition at the Manchester Central Convention Complex, Muhammad and Gaun were drawn to a 2-2 score and his left-foot attack to the body of Gaun in the fourth sudden-death round earned him the top honors, thrilling the home fans.
In the division, Turkey’s Yunus Sari and the Isle of Man’s Aaron Cook shared the bronze medal.
“It was a nearly close match and it was a fantastic fight. I am happy to be the golden-point winner at the 1st Grand Prix event,” Muhammad said after the victory ceremony.
Muhammad, who started taekwondo at the age of 3, said, “I wanted to come out today at the home ground and I proved that I can do.” The 22-year-old Muhammad said he wouldl compete at the 2016 Rio and 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and beyond.
In the men’s -58kg final match, Chinese Taipei’s Chen-Yang Wei brushed aside a stiff challenge from Korea’s Tae-hun Kim to beat Kim 6-5 for the gold medal.
Wei, the bronze medalist in the men’s -58kg division at the 2013 Puebla World Championships and the bronze medalist in the men’s -63kg at the 2011 Gyeongju World Championships, advanced to the final match by defeating Mexico’s Damian Alejandro Villa Valadez 2-0 in a semifinal match.
In the division, the bronze went to Mexico’s Villa Valadez and Iran’s Hadi Mostean Loron.
In the women’s -67kg division, Sweden’s Elin Maria Katarina Johansson easily beat Chinese Taipei’s Chia Chia Chuang 9-2 to earn her country the first gold medal at the inaugural Grand Prix event.
Johansson, the US Open champion, reached the final match as she beat Russia’s Anastasiia Baryshnikova 2-0 in a semifinal match.
France’s Haby Niare and Russia’s Baryshnikova shared the bronze medal in the same category.
Besides final matches, the quarterfinal match between the Isle of Man’s Aaron Cook and Steven Lopez of the United States drew a special interest from both the public and international media, in which Cook brushed aside a stiff challenge from Lopez to win the match 17-14 to advance to the semifinal round.
Spain and Russia grabbed one gold medal each on the third and final day of the 2013 WTF World Taekwondo Grand Prix Final in Manchester, the United Kingdom on 15 December, 2013.
After three days of competitions at the inaugural 2013 WTF World Taekwondo Grand Prix Final, Russia topped other countries in the overall medal tally as it took home two gold medals, one silver medal and one bronze medal.
Host Great Britain came next with two golds and one silver, followed by Spain with two golds, Chinese Taipei with one gold and one silver, and Sweden with one gold. Korea came next with three silvers and one bronze, while Brazil and Canada clinched one silver each.
A total of 231 athletes from 59 countries competed for top honors at the 2013 World Taekwondo Grand Prix final, which took place at the Manchester Central Convention Complex.
In the women’s -57kg category, Spain’s Eva Calvo Gomez brushed aside a stiff challenge from Great Britain’s Jade Jones to win the final match 4-3 for the gold medal.
Calvo Gomez, the bronze medalist at the 2013 Puebla World Championships and the 2010 Spanish Open gold medal winner, reached the final match by edging down France’s Floriane Liborio in a fourth golden-point round.
Jade Jones, the gold medalist at the 2012 London Olympic Games and the silver medalist at the 2011 Gyeongju World Championships, came from behind to beat China’s Yuzhuo Hou in a semifinal match to advance to the final match.
In the men’s -68kg final match, Russia’s Alexey Denisenko, the bronze medal winner at the 2012 London Olympic Games and the gold medalist at the 2013 Russia Open, earned his country the gold medal as he managed to defeat Canada’s Maxime Potvin 1-0.
Denisenko made it to the final match by beating Iran’s Behnam Asbaghikhanghah 5-4, while Potvin, the silver medalist at the 2009 World Championships and the gold medalist at the 2012 Pan American Championships, reached to the final match as he outpointed Iran’s Bagheri Motamed 3-0.