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Olympic athletes head to Manchester Central for Taekwondo Grand Prix

Eight Olympic gold medallists will be among some of the world’s top fighters competing at the inaugural World Taekwondo Grand Prix at Manchester Central this week.
From 13-15 December, the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) event will see 250 of the world’s best taekwondo fighters battle it out for qualification points ahead of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The competition follows a succession of sporting events held at the North of England’s leading event venue, including the AJ Bell World Squash Championships in November, the pre-fight weigh-in of UFC’s Manchester Fight Night in October and the weigh-in of Carl Froch’s boxing super middle-weight title defence against George Groves.

The WTF event continues to cement Manchester Central’s growing reputation as a venue capable of delivering an increasingly diverse range of prestigious events, as well as the national and international events, exhibitions and conferences it is known for.

More than 3,000 visitors are expected to attend the competition, which is being staged in Manchester Central’s iconic Central Hall.

Angie Robinson, Chief Executive of Manchester Central, said: “We are thrilled to be hosting the first World Taekwondo Grand Prix. These niche sporting events attract an international audience. Yet again we will see some of the world’s greatest athletes descend upon Manchester Central, which is gaining a growing reputation for its versatility.

“Manchester is one of the UK’s major sporting cities. It is therefore apt that we continue to attract the world’s elite sporting events.”

Steve Flynn, Operations Director of GB Taekwondo, the event organisers, said: “Manchester is the home of Taekwondo in the UK and in launching the inaugural World Taekwondo Grand Prix, it is fitting that we are staging the competition at the city’s premier event venue.

“We are looking to recreate the spirit and the excitement of the Olympics 18 months ago and we’re delighted to be bringing another world-class sporting event to Manchester.”

The contest is another which forms part of the UK Sport’s Gold Event Series and will be the first time that Jade Jones competes in England since her Olympic gold medal success last year.

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