“Team of quality” named by GB Taekwondo for World Championships
14th April 2023
GB Taekwondo has confirmed its squad for what Performance Director, Gary Hall, calls “the toughest test of all.”
A total of 11 athletes are heading to Azerbaijan for the 2023 World Championships (May 29-June 4), including four medallists from the previous Worlds in Guadalajara, Mexico held last November.
Additionally, Afghanistan-born Farzad Mansouri, who trains alongside the GBT athletes in Manchester, will participate in his second successive World Championship as a refugee athlete and compete in the -80kg weight category.
“It is a team of quality, and we are looking forward to a decent outcome,” said Hall.
“I am confident we will be ready for the challenge and confident there are medals within this team.
“You never say anything is guaranteed. But we have a talented group of fighters capable of winning medals on their day.
“Even though we go in without a reigning world champion, we have four medallists (Bradly Sinden, Jade Jones, Rebecca McGowan and Aaliyah Powell) from Mexico that are going back in.
“So, we will be looking to improve the quality of the medals they achieved. It is the toughest test of all and comes only seven months after the Worlds.
“Normally, you get two years between but with the shorter Olympic cycle we have had to be stringent with selection.”
The Championships were due to be hosted by Wuxi, China in 2021 but Covid-19 restrictions forced its postponement.
One of seven female fighters is Bianca Cook. The Liverpudlian great had hoped to chase a record-breaking fourth successive world crown in Mexico, after successes under her maiden name of Bianca Walkden in 2015, 2017 and 2019.
However, she was a late withdrawal from the squad calling the decision “one of the hardest I’ve ever had to make.”
Jones and Sinden look to win back the world crowns achieved in front of a partisan crowd in Manchester four years ago.
Yorkshire prospect Aaliyah Powell was only 16 and still at school when she won the first of back-to-back World bronze medals in 2019. Fighting now at -62kg, she looks to complete a hat-trick of medals but with higher grade metal.
Cameron Booth from Nottingham, 23, will make his senior World Championship debut as one of four male GB fighters.
The Championships launch a hectic schedule for GBT athletes with the World Grand Prix in Rome and European Games in Poland following hard on the heels of the global gathering in Azerbaijan.
The GB Taekwondo squad for the World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan is:
-46kg: Phoenix Goodman (Southampton) LMC Taekwondo
-49kg: Maddison Moore (Blakedown) Redstar Karate
-57kg: Jade Jones (Flint) Manchester Aces
-62kg: Aaliyah Powell (Huddersfield) Quest Taekwondo
-67kg: Lauren Williams (Blackwood) The Devil’s Martial Arts Club (Kickboxing)
-73kg: Rebecca McGowan (Dumbarton) Caledonian Taekwondo
+73kg: Bianca Cook (Liverpool) Liverpool Elite
-58kg: Mo Nour (Roehampton) Gurumu
-68kg: Bradly Sinden (Doncaster) Kings Taekwondo
-74kg: Cameron Booth (Nottingham) NTC
+87kg: Caden Cunningham (Huddersfield) Quest Taekwondo
-80kg: Farzad Mansouri