Manchester, ready for the inaugural WTF Grand Prix
The British city of Manchester is ready for the 2013 WTF World Taekwondo Grand Prix final.
The inaugural WTF Grand Prix event, which will take place at the Manchester Central Exhibition Complex, is expected to draw a total of 231 athletes, including 115 males, from 59 countries.
Among the participating athletes are four gold medalists at the 2012 London Olympic Games – Argentina’s Sebastian Eduardo Crismanich, Great Britain’s Jade Jones, Serbia’s Milica Mandic and Italy’s Carlo Molfetta – and two Beijing Olympic gold medalists- Korea’s Cha Dong-min and Mexico’s Maria Espinoza.
A total of 56 international referees will officiate at the three-day event, whose semifinal and final matches will be broadcast live around the world.
The Grand Prix event features eight Olympic weight categories, four male and four female: men’s -58kg, men’s -68kg, men’s -80kg and men’s +80kg; women’s -49kg, women’s -57kg, women’s -67kg and women’s +67kg.
For the first time ever in WTF history, all matches, including semifinal and finals at the main court will be conducted on a black mat. A Daedo protector and scoring system (PSS) and an instant video replay system will be used at the Manchester Grand Prix event.
The maximum number of athletes per Olympic weight division is 32 for the Grand Prix final. Top 31 athletes per Olympic weight category based on their September 2013 WTF Olympic rankings are invited, while one athlete from the host United Kingdom is additionally invited. A maximum quota per member national association is two athletes per weight category.
Top eight athletes per weight division are seeded, while the remaining 24 will be drawn randomly.
A head of team meeting and a drawing of lots session were held on 11 December at the venue. An opening ceremony of the Grand Prix final is scheduled at 1:30 p.m. on 13 December.
Shortly prior to the opening ceremony, there will be an MOU signing ceremony between the WTF and the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP) at the venue.
The opening day of competition on 13 December will feature three weight categories: women’s -49kg, women’s +67kg and men’s +80kg.
The second day will feature three weight divisions: women’s -67kg, men’s -58kg and men’s -80kg, while the third and final day will feature two categories: women’s -57kg and men’s -68kg.
Each day of competitions has two sessions with session 2 starting with semifinal matches.