Home Is Where The Heart Is For GB Stars As Taekwondo Returns To London For First Time Since 2012 Olympics
July 7, 2017
Britain’s record-breaking taekwondo stars, including double world champion, Bianca Walkden, and double Olympic gold medallist, Jade Jones, are coming home.
For the first time in three years’ home supporters will be able to see the great Brits in action.
So, tickets for the World Taekwondo Grand Prix at the Copper Box Arena on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London from October 20-22, promises to be some of the hottest in town.
As an extra bonus the World Para Taekwondo Championships are being hosted at the same venue on October 19-the first time Britain has staged the tournament.
Liverpudlian Walkden, affectionately known as ‘Queen B,’ led the way for GB Taekwondo at the recent World Championships in Muju, South Korea, striking gold in the heavyweight division.
Her success was one of five medals for the GB squad, including bronze to add to her 2011 silver for ‘Headhunter’ Jones.
Mahama, Cho, Damon Sansum and teenager Bradly Sinden also achieved podium places. Britain finished fifth in the medal table but only hosts, South Korea, and Russia, won more medals.
“It was fantastic to retain my world title and also to win an Olympic bronze medal in Rio last year,” said Walkden.
“The long term goal is to go to the Tokyo Olympics and win gold. But we don’t often get chance to compete in front of our own family, friends and fans so I can’t wait to fight in London.
“I missed out on London 2012 and it will be great to sample the atmosphere everyone talks about from those Olympics.”
Welsh star Jones, disappointed to again miss out on a maiden world title, said:” It’s exciting the thought of competing in London again.
“Winning my first Olympic title and doing it in front of a home crowd were the stuff of dreams.”
Indeed, who will forget iconic shots of Jones throwing her head guard high into the air at ExCel after beating China’s Yuzhuo Hou in the -57kg final?
“We have also got the World Championships in Manchester in 2019,” explained Jones. “So, there’s plenty to look forward to if people like taekwondo or want to discover more about the sport.”
Manchester, home to the GB Academy, last hosted a major event – a leg of the 2015 World Grand Prix series.
Amy Truesdale is another happy Briton relishing an opportunity to fight in from of a partisan home crowd.
The undisputed British number one has travelled the globe winning medals and raising the profile of the para discipline.
Most recently, Chester-based Truesdale won gold at the Asian Para Championships another step in the right direction towards what she hopes will be a Paralympic appearance in Tokyo.
“It will be fantastic to have the support of a home crowd for a change,” confirmed the three-time European champion.
“Hopefully, the Championships and Grand Prix will showcase the sport to a wider audience and encourage more people to participate.”
“I’ve won medals at previous World Championships but never gold. So, with the extra boost from home fans, I’m looking to put the record straight.”
Watch out too for Leif Thobroe who turned to kickboxing and then taekwondo after suffering a spinal injury playing rugby union.
Day passes are now available to purchase for the Grand Prix from £15 (£5/£10 Juniors/Concessions) and £10 (£5 Juniors/Concessions) for the World Para Championships. Tickets can be purchased from Ticket Master or See Tickets
All seats are reserved and you can choose exactly where you would like to sit with the interactive seating map. Premium seats are opposite the main show court and offer you the very best view of the semi-finals and finals – but hurry as these always sell first!