Around 100 athletes who ranked below 70th (Not including 70th) from 18 countries and one refugee team have registered for this year’s competition which will take place in Muju Taekwondowon. Athletes will compete across four men’s categories (-58kg, -68kg, -80kg and +80kg) and four women’s categories (49kg, -57kg, -67kg, +67kg). Those who finish first and second in each weight category will win a place in the G6-level Taiyuan 2023 Grand Prix Series on October 10-12 where they can take on the world’s very best.
The Grand Prix Challenge was launched by World Taekwondo President Chungwon Choue to provide a clear pathway for emerging Taekwondo athletes. The first edition was held last year in Muju Taekwondowon and produced a number of new international stars. Among them were Korea’s Tae-joon PARK (M-58kg) and Geon-woo SEO (M-80kg) and China’s Qing GUO (W-49kg) whose performances at the Grand Prix Challenge earned them a place at the Manchester 2022 Grand Prix.
Despite having never competed at a competition of that magnitude before, Park and Seo caused a big surprise as both won gold at the Grand Prix and Guo won bronze before winning a silver medal at the World Taekwondo Championships in Guadalajara. Park went on to win gold at the Baku 2023 World Taekwondo Championships and was selected as the male MVP.
World Taekwondo President Chungwon Choue said:
“The Grand Prix Challenge is a gateway for new Taekwondo stars. We saw that in action last year at the inaugural edition and in just 12 months athletes like Tae-joon Park have established themselves as among the very best in our sport, achieving excellent results in various world competitions. Without the Grand Prix Challenge it could have taken many years for these stars to be discovered. We are looking forward to seeing new athletes come to the fore again in Muju Taekwondowon this week.”