Wednesday 8th the team were recently in China to meet the Beijing Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (BOCOG). The visit represents the strength of the ongoing relationship between the two organisations, who are constantly sharing and developing ideas ahead of the Olympic Taekwondo Qualification Event for the Beijing Games, which take place in Manchester from 28th-30th September.
Great Britain are one of only twenty countries invited by BOCOG and The Chinese Taekwondo Association (CTA) to participate in a test event next February in the newly built Beijing Science and Technology University Gymnasium, a purpose-built facility for the Olympic Games, specifically for Taekwondo and Judo.
Gary Hall, Performance Director for the BTCB Sport Taekwondo UK Ltd, commented: “This invitation is significant in highlighting the longstanding relationship we have with the CTA and BOCOG. With just twenty countries invited to have the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the facilities next February the Great Britain Team feels it should be in a strong position to deliver results come next summer.”
Also, as part of the close union between the two countries, the thirty-strong Chinese Olympic Taekwondo Team, ranked number two in the world, will be in Manchester this September prior to the qualification event to train with the Great Britain Team. With over 60 million taekwondo practitioners globally and one million in China alone the agreement for these two countries to train together will provide fantastic preparation for the Great Britain Team as they hope mount a successful Olympic challenge.
Andrew Link, Operations Director for the BTCB Sport Taekwondo UK Ltd, commented: “With the Chinese National team visit in early September and the major event in Manchester prior to the Beijing Olympics this sleeping dragon of a sport, which ranks as one of the most participated sports in the world, is deservedly beginning to get a bit of fire in it’s belly in the UK. Further plans to introduce the sport into schools is underway, as discipline and self-control are cornerstones of the sport. We have no doubt that the sport will be snapped up by schools and students and the legacy of this two-thousand year old martial art and modern Olympic sport will continue well beyond 2012.”
While the 2007 World Taekwondo Qualification Event for the Beijing Olympics will draw to a close on 30th September, Taekwondo will return to Manchester later in the year when the Manchester Tennis Centre hosts the National Taekwondo Championships on the 15th&16th December.
Tickets are now on sale for the 2007 WTF World Taekwondo Qualification Tournament for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, which will take place at the MEN Arena in Manchester from 28th to 30th September later this year. This prestigious international event will see at least 182 member nations submit a total of 728 athletes to compete for the right to participate at the next Olympic Games. To purchase tickets please visit the official event website at www.manchester2007.info