The official competition draw for the inaugural World Taekwondo GP has been made, as 231 athletes from 59 countries discovered who they will have to overcome in Manchester in their bid for gold and vital Olympic ranking points ahead of Rio 2016, posted aroundtherings.com
The draw was made using the WTF Olympic Ranking system. Eight athletes per weight category were seeded based on their WTF Olympic Ranking and given a fixed slot in the draw. The remaining athletes were then drawn randomly by a computer system, allowing athletes from the same country to be drawn against one another. A maximum of 32 athletes were drawn per each of the eight Olympic weight categories.
Stand-out matches from the draw:
· In the male under 80kg category, London 2012 gold medallist, Sebastian Eduardo Crismanich, takes on Anton Kotkov of Russia
· London 2012 gold medallist, Jade Jones, takes to the mat against Jessica Renee Chavez Rivera of Mexico in the female under 57kg weight category
· London 2012 bronze medallist, Oscar Munoz of Colombia, faces Tae-Moon Cha of Korea in the male under 58kg weight category
· Daniel Manz, a bronze medallist for Germany at Beijing 2008, takes on the Russian London 2012 bronze medallist, Alexey Denisenko, in the male under 68kg division
· Melanie Yun Ru Phan of Canada faces Fadia Farhani of Tunisia in the female under 49kg
Speaking following the draw, WTF President Chungwon Choue said:
“I feel privileged to be leading the WTF during such an exciting moment in the evolution of taekwondo. This is a historic time for the sport and the competition draw in Manchester marks the beginning of a special journey that we are about to embark on with the World Taekwondo GP.
“London 2012 really opened our eyes to taekwondo’s potential. We saw some of the best and most exciting taekwondo action that the sport has ever seen, and we saw huge enthusiasm from spectators and TV audiences. We want to make sure we continue to build on this. The World Taekwondo GP slogan is ‘Here Come the Champions’ and that is exactly what it will deliver: regular Olympic-standard competition between the world’s best athletes.”
WTF Secretary General, Jean-Marie Ayer, added:
“The opportunities that the World Taekwondo GP series will bring to taekwondo both from a sporting and commercial perspective are enormous. The World Taekwondo GP will consolidate taekwondo’s status as a core Olympic sport with global appeal by delivering regular competition between the very best athletes.
“The World Taekwondo GP will help realise taekwondo’s huge untapped commercial potential and give sponsors a chance to have a meaningful role in the global development of the sport. The division of television rights between the WTF and the host cities will ensure that the entire global taekwondo community is connected to the event, whether they are watching from the comfort of their own homes on the TV or the internet, or first-hand in the state-of-the-art host arenas.”
The World Taekwondo GP, Manchester 2013 will be broadcast in 95 countries worldwide, including USA, Mexico, Argentina, UK, France, Korea, Australia and sub-Saharan African countries.