Asian stars in focus at Taiyuan World Para Taekwondo Grand Prix


TAIYUAN, China (Oct 9, 2023) - Less than two weeks ahead of the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Para Games, the Taiyuan 2023 World Para Taekwondo Grand Prix witnessed exciting contests with fighters returning to winning ways. 

Asian stars were in focus in the Chinese city of Taiyuan as they made their final adjustments ahead of the Asian Para Games in style. 

Among the notable ones who impressed in the one day event included Uzbekistan's Naimova Guljonoy. The world no. 2 halted top ranked Great Britain's Amy Truesdale’s amazing run which included back-to-back titles at Veracruz 2023 World Para Taekwondo Grand Prix and World Championships. 

In K44 women’s - 52kg, Mongolia's Surenjav Ulambayar, the bronze medallist at Veracruz 2023 Worlds, raised her position to the top shocking Paralympic silver medallist Cavdar Meryem Betul from Turkiye in the final. 

Ulambayar already had showed her top form in the last 8 surprising world champion from Mexico Jessica Garcia Quijano by a big margin 25-2.

Meanwhile, China's Li Yujie pulled off a morale-boosting victory ahead of the all-important Hangzhou 2022 Games finishing on top of K44 Women -57kg. The Chinese saw off France’s Sophie Caverzan 26-2 and will be hoping to lead the home challenge soon. 

In men's events, Uzbekistan's world champion Asadbek Toshtemirov had to settle for silver ending second to Azerbaijan's Abulfaz Abuzarli in K44 Men -80kg. 

Israel's Asaf Yasur (K44 Men -58kg) continued his winning momentum as did Great Britain’s Matt Bush (K44 Men +80kg) after their success in Veracruz, Mexico.

Among others who returned to the top were Mexico's Claudia Romero (K44 Women - 47kg), Great Britain's Beth Munro (K44 Women -65kg), Turkey's Fatih Celik (K44 Men -70kg) and Mahmut Bozteke (K44 Men -63kg). 

Bozteke in fact overcame a strong Asian challenge with Mongolian Bolor-erdene Ganbat taking the silver followed by China's Zheyi Ni and Uzbelistan's Zukhriddin Tokhirov in K44 men - 63kg.

For Munro, it was her second Grand Prix title win in the season after her victory at Veracruz 2023 GP.