The Roma 2022 Grand Prix will mark the first time since the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 that so many of the world’s best Taekwondo athletes have competed against each other in person. The star-studded line up in the Italian capital will feature a host of Olympic medallists from Tokyo 2020, including gold medallists Vito Dell’Aquila (ITA), Ulugbek Rashitov (UZB), Anastasija Zolotic (USA) and Matea Jelic (CRO). The Olympic champions will be joined by a number of Olympic silver and bronze medallists who will be looking to secure top spot this time round.
A total of 256 athletes will compete plus the refugee team at Roma 2022. Among them will be Tokyo 2020 Refugee Olympic Team athlete Kimia Alizadeh Zenoorin as well as two Ukrainian athletes. The athletes will compete across the eight Olympic categories (four men and four women) with 32 athletes per category. A new best of three rounds (two minutes each) competition system will be trialled to add extra excitement and winners of the Grand Prix will achieve ranking points for qualification to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
World Taekwondo President Chungwon Choue said:
“We cannot wait for the return of the World Taekwondo Grand Prix in Rome. It is always a very special event as we have the opportunity to watch the world’s best compete. Having had such a long break since we last held the Grand Prix, I am sure Roma 2022 will be extra special. Our athletes will be extra motivated particularly by the chance to secure qualification points for Paris 2024. And for our fans we hope that the new rules will make the matches even more exciting and dynamic.”
The best of three format will ensure athletes are motivated to try and win each round and not defend in the earlier rounds. More spectacular techniques will also be encouraged as they will be used to decide any rounds that end in a draw. If there is a tie at the end of any of the three rounds it will be decided by which athletes had the most points scored by turning or spinning kicks. Should the technical score be the same, the athlete who has scored the most in order of high- value techniques (head, trunk, punch, gam-jeom) will be awarded. If the high-value points are the same, the athlete who received a higher number of hits registered by the PSS will win. Lastly, if the three above criteria are all the same the referee and judges will determine the winner.