World in motion-GB fighters planning for home comforts at Manchester Arena
7th January 2019
It was one of the most successful years in the sport’s history but with Britain hosting the World Taekwondo World Championships for the first time, expect the achievements of 2018 to be topped in 2019.
Manchester Arena has hosted many memorable sporting events since opening its doors for the first time in 1995.
Now, preparations are well underway for the city centre venue to stage the last major taekwondo event before the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
From Wednesday, May 15 to Sunday, May 19, nearly 1000 of the planet ’s best fighters will compete in front of a lively crowd to be crowned a World Champion.
But a Manchester trained, GB squad aims to ensure it is mission impossible for their rivals as well as making history just over a year out from the Olympics.
Silver medals have previously been won by Paul Green, Michael Harvey (current High Performance Coach), Damon Sansum and Mahama Cho, which means there is an exciting opportunity for history to be made yet again, as Great Britain has never produced a male world champion.
Jade Jones was crowned Olympic title winner in 2012 and 2016 but the Welsh star has yet to add a world crown to her collection.
She has though won European and Grand Prix gold medals in front of Manchester crowds and hopes home audiences can make the difference in her quest to finally become world champion.
‘Queen B’ Bianca Walkden has had no issues finishing on top of the world, winning her titles in South Korea and Russia.
But the Liverpool heavyweight has made Manchester her adopted home in recent years and would love nothing better than to delight family and friends at the Arena this Spring.
“Home advantage is significantly valuable to this team,” says GB Taekwondo Performance Director, Gary Hall. “We were top squad at the Grand Prix in London in 2017 and again in Manchester last year.
“It is certainly going to be an extra benefit to have a World Championship in the UK for the first time.
“We do our stats and we know from all home soil events in the last five years, this GB team has always performed at its best. And we don’t want to start changing this.”
Unlike previous home tournaments, spectators will potentially receive two opportunities to support their favourite athletes.
The action will take place on seven courts from the last 128 through to the quarter-finals with semi-finals and finals on the show court.
To ensure athletes are in the best possible condition for one of the most important fights of their lives, all finals will take place the following day.
There is also more action to enjoy with expected fields of 128 per weight division from -46kg (female) through to +87kg (male).
Tickets are being released in phases, with the cheapest now available, they’ll increase in price as the event gets closer.
Here’s the full breakdown of weight categories as they will appear in Manchester this May:
Wednesday 15th May
Preliminary, Elimination Rounds and Quarter-finals for F -46kg, F -73kg, M -58kg
Semi-finals for F -46kg, F -73kg, M -58kg
Thursday 16th May
Preliminary, Elimination Rounds and Quarter-finals for F +73kg, M -54kg, M -68kg
Semi-finals for +73kg, M -54kg and M -68kg
Finals & Victory Ceremonies for F -46kg, F -73kg and M -58kg
Friday 17th May
Preliminary, Elimination Rounds and Quarter-finals for F -49kg, F -57kg and M -74kg
Semi-finals for F -49kg, F -57kg and M -74kg
Finals & Victory Ceremonies for F +73kg, M -54kg and M -68kg
Saturday 18th May
Preliminary, Elimination rounds and Quarter-finals for F -53kg, F -67kg, M -63kg, M -80kg
Semi-finals F -53kg, F -67kg, M -63kg and M -89kg
Finals and Victory Ceremonies for F -49kg, F -57kg and M -74kg
Sunday 19th May
Preliminary, Elimination Rounds for F -63kg, M -87kg and M +87kg
Round of 16, Quarter-finals and Semi-finals for F -63kg, M -87kg and M +87kg
Finals and Victory Ceremonies for F -53kg, F -67kg, M -63kg, M -80kg, F -63kg, M -87kg and M +87kg
Tickets are being released in phases and are now in phase 2. Prices start from just £11 adults or £6 juniors. These prices will be held until 1st April after which they’ll increase in price as the event gets closer.