Double Olympic champion Jade Jones headlines a 15-strong British squad that Gary Hall is convinced can make history at the upcoming Taekwondo World Championship on home soil.
The UK will host the World Championship for the first time when the best taekwondo players on the planet do battle in Manchester from May 15-19.
It’s a British squad that boasts five Olympic medals in the ranks with Jones, competing in the -57kg category, having claimed gold at London 2012 and Rio 2016, Lutalo Muhammad (-87kg) having a silver and bronze to his name and Bianca Walkden (+73kg) taking bronze in Rio.
However, there are also five World Championship debutants as Aaliyah Powell (-53kg), Jordyn Smith (-46kg), Rebecca McGowan (-73kg), Mason Yarrow (-54kg) and Maddison Moore (-49kg) will all make their bow on the big stage.
But performance director Hall is convinced he has the perfect blend as GB look to better their medal tally of five from the 2017 Worlds in South Korea.
“The squad is a great combination of experienced, in-form, new and developing athletes, all super excited to be taking part in a historic World Championships in their own back yard,” said Hall.
“We believe we have a strong squad to do it justice. If they all hit form it should be a great championship for GB Taekwondo.
“We have a target of three to five medals and we feel we are capable of winning three to five.
“But make no mistake, despite the Olympic Games being the pinnacle of this sport, the World Championships are so difficult to win because it is stacked with depth and quality.
“However, we know how to win and we have proven it in the past. We will be utilising all that experience to get the best results possible.”
Despite Jones’ double Olympic success, she is still awaiting a first world title, although she did win silver eight years ago and bronze in 2017.
Walkden is targeting a third successive World Championship gold, while there has never been a British male world champion – a stat the likes of Muhammad, two-time world medallist Damon Sansum (-80kg) and 2017 runner-up Mahama Cho (+87kg) will be looking to rectify.
From 15th-19th May 2019 the UK will play host to the World Taekwondo Championships for the very first time! It’s set to be biggest international Taekwondo competition that Britain has seen as the world’s best athletes once again come together to compete, over five days, for the World Championship title and valuable ranking point for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Buy tickets to see your favourite GB stars kicking for glory here!
GB squad for Taekwondo World Championship in Manchester:
Male: -54kg: Mason Yarrow (Doncaster) -58kg: Hassan Haider (Falkirk) -63kg: Josh Calland (Liverpool) -68kg: Bradly Sinden (Doncaster) -74kg: Christian McNeish (Plaistow) -80kg: Damon Sansum (Elgin) -87kg: Lutalo Muhammad (Walthamstow) +87kg: Mahama Cho (Stockwell)
Female: -46kg: Jordyn Smith (Falkirk) -49kg: Maddison Moore (Blakedown) -53kg: Aaliyah Powell (Huddersfield) -57kg: Jade Jones (Flint) -67kg: Lauren Williams (Blackwood) -73kg: Rebecca McGowan (Dumbarton) +73kg: Bianca Walkden (Liverpool)