The three-day Grand Prix event, the first to be held in Russia, will take place at the Dinamo Krylatskoye Gymnasium in northwestern Moscow, drawing 245 top athletes from 52 countries; 50 highly-trained international referees will officiate at the event.
The Moscow event features eight Olympic weight categories, four male and four female. The top 31 athletes per each Olympic weight categories, based on their July 2015 WTF Olympic rankings, are invited as the WTF looks to deliver a world-class event which attracts the very best athletes and provides the best spectacle for fans. Among the participating athletes are nine male and 11 female Olympic medalists. One athlete per weight category from the host Russia is also invited. The maximum quota per member national association is two athletes per weight division.
“The Moscow Grand Prix Series 1 will serve as an opportunity for our top elite athletes to display their skills and entertain our millions of fans worldwide with their fast and exciting techniques. I have no doubt that Moscow will host a fantastic event and will unite our athletes through fair play, respect and friendship.” said WTF President Chungwon Choue.
Three octagonal-shaped courts, which have been developed by the WTF to allow athletes to explore more dynamic techniques from different angles, will be used with semifinal and final matches scheduled to take place at the center court. A KP&P protector and scoring system (PSS) and an instant video replay system, with three linked cameras, will also be used to ensure fair and consistent judging and eliminate human error.
Together with the medals, cash prizes will be given to the top four athletes in each weight category: $5,000 for the gold medalist; $3,000 for the silver medalist; and $1,000 for the two bronze medal winners.
Anatoly Terekhov, president of the Russian Taekwondo Union, said, “The Moscow Grand Prix Series 1 is one of the highest level tournaments where the best of the best have a chance to challenge for the top prizes and gain ranking points to compete at the Olympic Games. The WTF World Taekwondo Grand Prix Series 1 is one of the most significant steps for athletes on the road to Rio 2016.”
The subsequent Grand Prix events in 2015 will take place in Samsun, Turkey, and Manchester, U.K., before Mexico City, Mexico, hosts the finals in December.