First stage of Taekwondo Grand Prix opens in Moscow
In Moscow on August 4-16, the Dynamo Palace of Sports in Krylatskoye will host the First Taekwondo Grand Prix, the results of which will be determined by the strongest athletes in eight Olympic weight categories. The second stage of the Grand Prix will be held on September 18-20 in Samsun (Turkey), the third on October 16-18 in Manchester (UK), and the finale on December 3-4 in Mexico City (Mexico).
President of the World Taekwondo Federation, Doctor Chung Won Cho said that ‘’this year is very important for the World Taekwondo Federation, and for all lovers of taekwondo. Because on January 31, 2015 it was decided to include taekwondo in the Paralympic program. I would like to note that the Russian taekwondo and parataekwondo received great development under the leadership of Mr. Anatoly Terekhov. Especially the Russian men's parataekwondo team, which is now number one in the world ranking’’
Russian Taekwondo Union President, Anatoly Terekhov, said that ‘’most of our athletes, first places, should receive their additional rating points, to strengthen their position in the upcoming Olympiade. It is very important that we, Russia, have two compositions of our team as organizers of this tournament. And this is task number two, to check the second places of our team. Today they have the opportunity to meet with the world's best athletes. They don't get such chances often. And that is how we are already looking at the Olympic Games-2020. And it is not an exaggeration or a beautiful word to say, that we need to prepare for the Olympic Games today. That is the system of selection for the Olympic Games, which exists now, it means: You want to participate in the Olympics-2020? Start winning today. And this tournament, especially for the second composition of our team, will be important in this sense. But I certainly hope that our athletes of the first Olympic composition will represent Russia at the next Olympics. Their age is still suitable’’
A particular preparation for the Grand Prix for the Russian athletes was the first European Games in Baku last June. The head coach of Russia in taekwondo, Vadim Ivanov, said to Vestnik Kavkaza: "We knew that Baku is one of the leading competitions among the significant European competitions, because these events have the status of G4. They are equal to a continental championship in status. Above them are only the World Cup Grand Prix Final and the Olympic Games. Europe's leading athletes participated in the Games in Baku. In Baku in May 2014 the European Championships took place, and when we came we saw that the city is being built, the city is changing. A tremendous development happened this year in the capital of Azerbaijan. The organization was at the highest level. This also applies to the Olympic Village, where the athletes lived, this also applies to sports facilities, television, transport, food."
The 2012 Olympic bronze medalist, Alexey Denisenko, told Vestnik Kavkaza that the organization of the Games in Baku was really at a very high level: "If to compare on the continent, it was virtually indistinguishable from the Olympics. The difference with the London Olympics was just that in London there was a global competition, and in Baku it was European."