The Wait is almost over as Manchester begins to welcome athletes to 2019 World Taekwondo Championship
14th May 2019
Three years ago Manchester made a successful bid to host taekwondo’s 2019 World Championships.
Now the wait is almost over and nearly 1,000 athletes representing 150 nations will compete in 16 weight divisions from May 15-19 at the iconic Manchester Arena.
There will be one additional team – a squad drawn from refugee athletes – fighting under the World Taekwondo banner.
Of the 975 fighters listed to take part, none will receive a louder welcome than hosts Great Britain fielding a squad of experienced, multi-medal winning athletes and up and coming prospects already with one eye towards Olympic qualification at Paris 2024.
So, will double Olympic gold medallist, Jade Jones, secure a first world title or can Bianca Walkden win three in a row?
There has never been a British able-bodied male world champion but Lutalo Muhammad, Bradly Sinden, Christian McNeish, Damon Sansum and Mahama Cho all have chances of achieving that honour.
In 2017, British competitors collected a record five medals at the 2017 World Championships, two more than 2015 and one more than 2011 when current GB coaches, Michael Harvey and Martin Samper were among the medal winners.
“The squad is a great combination of experienced, in-form, new and developing athletes, all super excited to be taking part in a historic World Championships in their own back yard,” said GB Taekwondo Performance Director Gary Hall.
“We believe we have a strong squad to do it justice. If they all hit form it should be a great championship for GB Taekwondo.
“We have a target of three to five medals and we feel we are capable of winning three to five.”
Britain’s first three athletes in action on day one of the championships will also be flying the flag for Scotland: Hassan Haider (-58kg), compatriot Jordyn Smith (-46kg) and Rebecca McGowan (-73kg).
And the hosts have enjoyed a successful build-up to the tournament. On Monday, Manchester was confirmed as host for a Grand Prix event in 2021 and the 2023 Grand Prix final.
Interaction across all social media platforms, including athlete accounts, has topped one million while GB Chair, Julia Newton, has received a plaque of appreciation from World Taekwondo president Chungwon Choue for dedicated service and contribution to the successful organisation of the Championships.
Additionally, GB Taekwondo resident psychologist, Sarah Broadhead and Performance Lifestyle Advisor, Natalie Vickers successfully presented at the World Taekwondo Conference.
They discussed GB Taekwondo’s Mental Health Project (#MindMeMindU2) and how they’re working to stop the stigma for both staff and athletes in the organisation.
Tickets to the event are still available to purchase, head on over to kickingforglory.com to buy yours now!
-54kg: Mason Yarrow (Doncaster)
-58kg: Hassan Haider (Falkirk)
-63kg: Josh Calland (Liverpool)
-68kg: Bradly Sinden (Doncaster)
-74kg: Christian McNeish (Plaistow)
-80kg: Damon Sansum (Elgin)
-87kg: Lutalo Muhammad (Walthamstow)
+87kg: Mahama Cho (Stockwell)
-46kg: Jordyn Smith (Falkirk)
-49kg: Maddison Moore (Blakedown)
-53kg: Aaliyah Powell (Huddersfield)
-57kg: Jade Jones (Flint)
-62kg: No selection
-67kg: Lauren Williams (Blackwood)
-73kg: Rebecca McGowan (Dumbarton)
+73kg: Bianca Walkden (Liverpool)