COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.—USA Taekwondo is eager to send nine athletes and three coaches to the 2014 World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) Grand Prix 2 in Astana, Kazakhstan. The second installment of this prestigious international series will take place Aug. 29-31 at the Sport Center Daulet.
Through the Grand Prix Series, the WTF seeks to promote the sport throughout the world, showcasing many of its elite competitors, including both well-established and up-and-coming athletes.
“The World Taekwondo Federation, the International governing body for taekwondo, has created the Grand Prix Series as a means of providing athletes with a direct way to qualify to participate in the Rio Olympics,” USA Taekwondo CEO Bruce Harris, who will serve as the team leader for the American contingent in Kazakhstan, said.
“This Grand Prix is the second of several such events to be held this year. The importance of doing well in Grand Prix competition cannot be overstated, and Team USA consists of highly qualified athletes who are all capable of doing well in Grand Prix competition.”
Jacquline Galloway (Wylie, Texas; +67kg), Cheyenne Lewis (San Francisco; -57kg), Paige McPherson (Sturgis, S.D.; -67kg), Lauren Hamon (Jacksonville, Fla.; +67kg) and Charlotte Craig (Murrieta, Calif.; -49kg) are the American female athletes who will compete at the WTF Grand Prix 2.
Craig advanced to the quarterfinal round at the WTF Grand Prix 1 in Suzhou, China, before losing in a 9-8 decision. Lewis also won her first match in Suzhou and then lost to the defending Olympic gold medalist in a 7-5 result in the round of 16.
James Howe (San Ramon, Calif.; -58kg), Terrance Jennings (Alexandria, Va.; -68kg), Mark Lopez (Sugar Land, Texas; -68kg) and Steven Lopez (Sugar Land, Texas; -80kg) are the males who will compete for Team USA at the event.
Jennings advanced the farthest among the American men at the WTF Grand Prix 1, winning two matches to move into the round of eight.
Patrice Remarck will serve as head coach for the American contingent at the WTF Grand Prix 2. Juan Moreno and Jean Lopez will serve as assistant coaches at the prestigious and competitive international event.
“I realize that the top 32 athletes from around the world in each weight category have their eyes on the same prize as our athletes,” Harris said. “Competition is designed so that the best will rise to the challenge and prevail in the end.
“I am confident that our Team USA athletes will compete to their best and represent the U.S. very well, and I expect to see several, if not all of them, earn medals. My best wishes go out to all of our athletes, and I am certain that the U.S. is behind them in offering their support.”