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Preview, schedule, stars to look out for

The third event of the 2022 World Taekwondo Grand Prix series will be held in Manchester and is set to be one of the most competitive this season as at least six Olympic champions have been confirmed for the October 21-23 event.

However, the focus will be on the in-form favorites Simone Alessioand Zongshi Luo who are expected to win their third Grand Prix gold medal of the season after victories in Rome and Paris.

The Grand Prix is ​​an important stop on the way to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, as the 256 invited athletes have a chance to reach it Ranking points for Olympic qualification ahead of the World Cup in Mexico and the series finals taking place in Saudi Arabia in December.

Here are the top things you need to know, from the stars to watch for, what to expect from the second stop of #RoadToParis2024 for Taekwondo, how to catch the action at the Regional Arena, the schedule and more.

READ MORE: How to Qualify for Taekwondo in Paris 2024. The Olympic Qualification System Explained

21 – 23 Oct

Taekwondo | Olympic qualification | World Grand Prix | Manchester

Can Simone Alessio win his third Grand Prix gold in a row?

2019 World Champion Alessio travels to Manchester as an in-form favorite for a medal in the men’s up to 80 kg category.

He was undefeated in the 2022 Grand Prix series and is looking for his third gold medal after topping in Rome and Paris.

After missing a medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in 2021, Alessio, who finished fifth in his first games, won the 2021 French Open before winning the WT Presidents Cup – Europe. He returns to England’s Manchester Regional Arena, where he won his second Euro title last May, and is looking to top his event again in preparation for the World Cups in Mexico.

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“My goal in Manchester is to finish unbeaten. In Rome I had the best tactical and technical performance of my life,” he said in an exclusive interview with Olympics.com.

“I won in Paris, but my performance was far from spectacular. I hope to repeat Paris’ result in Manchester and then I’ll give everything I have at the World Cups. The goal is to remain unbeaten and I don’t care about winning.” how well I will fight.”

The Italian star meets Olympic medalists from Tokyo led by Saleh El-Sharabaty of Jordan, whom he defeated in the final in Japan, and bronze medalists from Egypt Seif Eisa, whom he beat in the final in Rome, as well as Tony Kanethe eliminated the Croatians in the semifinals of the Euro.

Read mote: Tokyo 2020 medalists Rafael Alba and Lee Dabin triumph on the final day of the Paris 2022 Taekwondo Grand Prix

Simone Alessio at the 2022 Paris GP final. (Photo by World Taekwondo)

Another category that has attracted all the heavyweights is the men over 80kg. There is the Olympic champion from Rio 2016 Cheick Sallah Cisse from Ivory Coast, who was looking to match or surpass his silver from Rome behind the series winner Emre Atesli of Turkey.

Atesli is second in Manchester behind the Brazilian Icaro Miguel Soares. The Paris Grand Prix winner, Raphael Alba from Cuba and defeated finalist Croatia Ivan Sapina will also be on parade. Tokyo 2020 Silver Medalist Dejan Georgievski from North Macedonia and Maicon Siqueirathe other top Brazilian, who finished third in Rio 2016, is also a gold favorite in Manchester.

Keep an eye on the men up to 58kg, who produced two different winners in the first two rounds.

The reigning Olympic champion Vito Dell’Aquila is back on the entry list after missing out on Paris where the local star was Ravet Cyrian won against Mohamed Khalil Jendoubi.

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The Tunisian was also the losing finalist in Rome, won by Korea’s Jang Jun.

The 68kg category should also offer exciting action with the presence of the British front runners Bradly Sinden, the world champion and Olympic silver medalist wants to improve on his bronze medal from Paris.

Bronze Medalist Hakan Recber, the Turk, who won in Rome, is also aiming for his second victory after surpassing the opener in Italy.

The Paris Grand Prix winner Javier Perez Polo from Spain and defeated finalist Jordan Zaid Karem are also confirmed for use at Sport City.

Olympic stars will make Manchester shine

Four Olympic champions will compete in the women’s categories.

Once again, all of the Tokyo 2020 women’s – 49kg medalists will be in action, led by the gold medalist Panipak Wongpattanakit. The Thai star is back after winning Paris alongside Spain’s leaders Adriana Cerezo Iglesias, whom she beat in the Olympic final. Two-time Olympic champion Tijana Bogdanovic from Serbia and Abischag Semberg from Israel are also among the medal favorites Bruna Duvancicthe Croatian who finished second in Rome.

A Croatian star Matea Jelic returns to Grand Prix and seeks her first consecutive win of the season alongside the Tokyo 2020 silver medalist Lauren Williams Competition on home soil in the UK and Ruth Gbagbithe two-time bronze medalist who won in Paris.

winner in Rome Magda Wiet Henin from France is second for Manchester.

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Jade Jones of Team GB is also one of the top picks for the -57kg and will be a crowd favorite in a category where all three Tokyo Olympic medalists are led by the reigning champion Anastasija Zolotic will be seen.

Read more: Taekwondo Olympic champion Anastasija Zolotic on “loss of motivation” after a career-threatening injury, her comeback season and why stubbornness pays off

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After the early end in Paris after bronze in Rome, it will now have to do with the American Zootic Lo Chia Ling and Hatice Ilgun as well as the 2019 World Championship bronze medalists from Team GB, Aaliyah Powell and colleague Brit Jodie McKew.

But all eyes in this category will be on China Zongshi Luo, the gold medalist from Rome and Paris, who is seeking her third straight win.

The top-ranked fighter in the women’s 67kg+ category is the English star Bianca Walkden, who is back with her longtime partner after the wedding Aaron Cookwho has also represented Team GB in Taekwondo.

Tokyo bronze medalist Walkden is joined by the other 2016 Games 3rd place finisher Althea Laurinewho lost to her compatriot Lee Da-bin in the final in Paris Rebecca McGowan, who finished third at the last Grand Prix and Rome silver medalist Crystal Weeks from Puerto Rico.

World Taekwondo Grand Prix Manchester 2022 schedule (all times British Summer Time/BST which is 1 hour ahead of GMT/UTC)

Friday October 21st

10:00 – 13:00 – women 49kg, men -58kg

14:00 – 16:00 – Round of 16 and quarterfinals – women 49 kg, men – 58 kg

17:00 – 19:00 – Semi-finals and finals – women 49 kg, men – 58 kg

Saturday October 22nd

10:00 – 13:00 – women -57kg, women -67kg, men -68

14:00 – 17:00 – Round of 16 and quarterfinals – women – 57 kg, women – 67 kg, men – 68 kg

18:00 – 20:30 – Semi-finals and finals – women – 57 kg, women – 67 kg, men – 68 kg

Sunday 23 October

10:00 – 13:00 – women +67kg, men -80kg, men +80kg

14:00 – 17:00 – round of 16 and quarterfinals – women +67kg, men -80kg, men +80kg

18:00 – 20:30 – Semi-finals and finals – women +67 kg, men -80 kg, men +80 kg

Here’s how to watch the action at the World Taekwondo Grand Prix in Manchester 2022

You can even watch the action from the 2022 Manchester World Taekwondo Grand Prix live on the Olympic Channel via Olympics.com here (territory restrictions apply).

For other territories, there will be a live stream of the action on the World Taekwondo YouTube page.

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