SAMSUN, Turkey (September 20, 2015) – The curtain came down on the 2015 World Taekwondo Grand Prix Series 2 in Samsun today, with the presence of athletes from 20 different countries on the medal podium over the three-day competition further testament to the strength and diversity of taekwondo’s global participation.
Millions of taekwondo fans around the world were treated to three days of exciting and dramatic competition as 232 of the world’s best athletes from 50 countries competed at the state-of-the-art Yasar Dogu Spor Salonu venue. The top 31 athletes across four male and four female weight categories were invited to Samsun as they competed for vital ranking points ahead of next year’s Olympic Games in Rio.
On Day One, the gold medals were split between Russia, the United States and Korea with Russia’s Anastasia Baryshnikova winning gold in the female -67kg category, Jackie Galloway taking gold in the female +67kg category and Korea’s Chol-ho Jo finishing top in the men’s +80kg. Day Two saw three new countries win gold as China’s two-time Olympic medallist Wu Jing won the female -49kg category, Rui Braganca of Portugal took gold in the male -58kg category and Iran’s Mahdi Khohabakhshi won gold in the male -80kg category. On the final day of competition, Olympic medallist from Great Britain, Jade Jones, claimed gold in the female -57kg category while Russia’s Alexey Denisenko won the male -68kg category.
Speaking after the competition, WTF President Chungwon Choue said:
“This tournament has showcased the very best of our sport and what makes it so popular around the world. Over the last three days we have seen sport in its purest form – individual displays of speed and skill, power and precision. With over 206 member national federations and 80 million practitioners around the world, the level of competition is so high that you have to be among the very best if you want to compete in the Grand Prix events. This creates more fast-paced and dramatic matches which are better for athletes and better for fans.
“Once again, I would like to thank Samsun and our friends at the Turkish Taekwondo Federation for arranging a fantastic event. We now look forward to the next Grand Prix competition in Manchester next month where our athletes will have another opportunity to pick up ranking points ahead of Rio 2016.”
The World Taekwondo GP Series 3 will take place on October 16-18 in Manchester before the GP final in Mexico City on December 5-6.