Mexico City is Gateway to Rio Olympics for Taekwondo Elite



2015 World Taekwondo Grand Prix Final, WTF Gala Awards and World Cup Taekwondo Team Championships to kick off in Mexican capital


Mexico City, Mexico (Dec. 1, 2015)  - The world’s top taekwondo fighters gather in Mexico City this week for two days of competition that will qualify the first tranche of athletes for the Olympic Summer Games in Rio, 2016.


The 2015 World Taekwondo Grand Prix Final, to be held on December 5-6 in the Mexican capital’s Sala de Armas – the Olympic fencing venue in the Magdalena Mixihuca sports complex - invites the sport’s 64 highest-ranked athletes from 28 countries. At the Final – the fourth Grand Prix event of the year – athletes fight it out in four male and four female Olympic weight categories.


Forty-eight athletes will win a ticket to Rio in what is certain to be two intense days of competition.


“The Grand Prix Final is always one of the most exciting competitions of the year,” said WTF President Chungwon Choue. “With the added incentive of Rio 2016 qualification, I am sure this year’s final will be even more special.”


The remaining 80 taekwondo Olympic berths will be filled next year by athletes via Continental Qualification Tournament (72), host country places (4) and Tripartite Commission Invitation - better known as wild cards - (4). A final total of 128 fighters will compete on the mats in Rio.


In addition to the Grand Prix Final, Mexico City will also be hosting the WTF Gala Awards 2015, the World Cup Taekwondo Team Championships and an extraordinary WTF Council meeting.


On December 7, the WTF Council will gather for an extraordinary meeting to discuss the latest developments, including progress on the nascent Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation – a body which will deploy coaches to refugee camps worldwide - and preparations for Rio 2016.


On the evening of December 7, the WTF will host its second annual WTF Gala Awards, honoring the male and female athletes of the year, the coach of the year, the referee of the year, the member national association of the year and the best kick of the year.


The ‘Player of the Year’ will be decided by the athletes; voting began during the WTF Grand Prix Series 3 in Manchester, UK, and will continue onsite in Mexico. The ‘Coach of the Year’ will be voted by players, coaches and referees; the ‘Referee of the Year’ will be chosen by the referees; and the ‘Member National Association of the Year’ will be selected by the WTF leadership.


This year’s gala awards also include an inaugural ‘Kick of the Year’ award to honor the beauty and precision of the sport’s best techniques.


“The WTF Gala Awards 2015 will be a wonderful way to end a fantastic year,” Choue said. “It provides the WTF with a chance to thank all our athletes, coaches, referees and member national associations who work so hard throughout the year and contribute so much to our global sport.”


On December 8-9, the Sala de Armas hosts the World Cup Taekwondo Team Championships. Eight male and seven female teams, comprising 89 athletes, will participate in the championships. The championships adopt a tag-team format, creating a fast-and-furious spectacle.


“The World Cup Taekwondo Team Championships bring an entirely different dynamic to the game, making it one of the sport’s most exhilarating fixtures,” Choue said.