Britain will host the World Taekwondo Championships in 2019 at the Manchester Arena after successfully bidding for a unique package of events to be staged in the lead up to the 2020 Olympic Games.
A bid team made up of GB Taekwondo, UK Sport, Manchester City Council, the Mayor of London’s office and British Taekwondo have also secured two legs of the World Taekwondo Grand Prix Series, to be hosted at London’s Copper Box Arena in 2017 and Manchester’s Regional Arena in 2018.
The World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) confirmed the package of events at its Executive Council meeting in Burnaby, Canada.
The bid team is also in discussion with the WTF about the potential for London to host the World Para Taekwondo Championships alongside the Grand Prix event at the Copper Box Arena next year.
Manchester beat off stiff opposition from Houston, USA to win the right to stage the 2019 World Championships. The city has a growing reputation for staging international Taekwondo events and the WTF Council was convinced that Manchester would be the ideal hosts for their flagship, biennial event.
As part of the three-year event package, London was confirmed as host of the 2017 Grand Prix following the success of the 2016 British Taekwondo Championships which was also held on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in September.
This will be the first international taekwondo event held in the capital since the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
And the UK bid includes a commitment to a four-year community Taekwondo programme – in both London and Manchester – to capitalise on the increased profile of the sport and inspire more young people to take part.
The events will build on the growing profile of the sport in the UK, following the British team’s unparalleled success at the Rio Olympic Games.
Steve Flynn, Director of GB Taekwondo said:
Securing these events for the UK provides Taekwondo with a massive boost and a chance to drive real growth in the sport over the coming years, not just in London and Manchester, but right across the country.
We’re proud of what we have achieved to date in staging several world class events and now we’re delighted to have the opportunity to take Taekwondo to the next level. We look forward to working with World Taekwondo to deliver a series of truly memorable events in two great sporting cities.
Image courtesy of Manchester Arena