CHUNCHEON CHALLENGE FOR KOREA MINDED GB SQUAD
Michael Harvey and Jade Jones return to South Korea just over two months after being part of Britain's most successful ever WTF World Championship squad.
The duo are included in an eight strong GB team competing at this weekend's prestigious Chuncheon Open.
The group will spend a total of two weeks in the Far East, competing and training, before returning to their Manchester base to begin the 12-month count down to the London Olympics.
Indeed, with the British Open (October 1-2) and 2012 European Championships (May 3-6) taking place in the city before the Games, the GB squad has a busy schedule ahead.
For world silver medallists Harvey (-68kg) and Jones (-57kg) it's another opportunity to prove they are genuine 2012 contenders.
For others, like GB Academy newcomer Lutalo Muhammad and recently crowned National champion, Andrew Deer, it's a chance to stake a claim in the -80kg division after Aaron Cook's decision to quit the GB training programme. Ruebyn Richards and Damon Sansum will also compete at -80kg.
Mancunian Jordan Gayle is keen to impress as he continues his comeback from major knee surgery.And it's a step up for the 19-year-old after taking bronze at the Austrian Open in June followed by a National title in his home city.
Indeed, Gayle and 2010 British Open champion Tony Grisman hope to shine in the competitive -68kg weight class with world bronze medallist, Martin Stamper, sidelined by injury.
Teenager Jones, a recent recipient of the Sporting Wales Rising Sports Stars award, is the only female member of the squad in the absence of world champion, Sarah Stevenson, and Bianca Walkden.
But Walkden has travelled with the squad as she continues to attain full fitness after major knee surgery at the start of the year. And by the time he British Open comes round in Manchester this autumn Liverpudlian Walkden hopes to be in the form that took her to number two in the world last year.
Great Britain Performance Director, Gary Hall, says:"Of course, it would be great for the squad to come away with some medals. But it's not just about winning performances, it's about positive performances and hitting the targets we've set in training.
"I'm delighted Lutalo is with us. He's won medals at Grade A Opens like this one before and he is as keen as any player to do well. I know he wants to give it his all.
"There will be 60-70 countries represented here this weekend so for all members of the team it's going to be a test. But also it's that opportunity to put into practice some of the things they've done in training."
After fulfilling their Chuncheon Open commitments, the squad will travel to Seoul for the remainder of their stay, combining training with combat against leading Korean professional teams.
Saturday, July 16:
Men (-68kg): Jordan Gayle, Tony Grisman, Michael Harvey.
(-80kg): Andrew Deer, Lutalo Muhammad, Ruebyn Richards, Damon Sansum.
Sunday, July 17:
Women (-57kg): Jade Jones.
For further information contact:
Sport Taekwondo UK Ltd.
Telephone: 07808 773264
Red and White Sport
Telephone: 07768 846839
NOTES FOR EDITORS
GB Taekwondo is responsible for the preparation, management and performance of Britain's elite athletes at major international championships as well as for delivering major taekwondo events, including:
British Open, 1-2 October 2011
2012 European Taekwondo Championships, 3-6 May 2012
For further information on GB Taekwondo visit:
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