Wuxi, December 12 (Chinanews.com) -- In the 17 World Taekwondo Grand Slam Championship Series and Olympic Direct Card Match held on the 16th, Liang Yushuai, an athlete of the Chinese taekwondo team, stood on the top podium of the men's 2023kg class with a score of 2-1 after three fierce finals with Croatian player Marko Gorubik, and won the top spot of the "Wuxi Grand Slam Standings" of the Paris Olympic cycle with a total of 68.1233 points, and qualified for the Paris Olympics.

Liang Yushuai celebrates the victory Photo courtesy of the organizers

According to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the World Taekwondo Federation, there are a total of eight kilogram categories in taekwondo at the Paris Olympics, with 8 athletes qualifying in each category. These qualifications are generated through the Wuxi Grand Slam points ranking, the Olympic points ranking, the continental qualifiers, the World Taekwong Federation third-party committee recommendation and the host country's recommended quota. Among them, the Olympic points ranking must participate in dozens of Olympic points competitions around the world in an Olympic cycle to compete for a high position, and there are many restrictions on the number of places in the continental qualifying tournaments, so the Taekwondo Grand Slam, which adopts the open selection system and two competitions a year, not only creates a "burden reduction" arena for global taekwondo athletes, but also brings hope to young athletes who rarely have the opportunity to participate in the global Olympic points competition.

"Because we have less competition experience, there is a certain gap in the Olympic points, but the platform of the Grand Slam can go straight to the Olympics, which is a good opportunity for us young athletes who are lagging behind in the Olympic points, thanks to the Grand Slam." Liang Yushuai said after the race that he was happy to catch the last train to qualify at the end of the year after a difficult period from Tokyo to Paris, where he had risen from 58kg to 68kg in the Olympic class.

Song Jie (blue side) in the competition, courtesy of the organizer

The Chinese women's team also received an Olympic ticket. Song Jie, a women's 67kg player, won the 2022 Taekwondo Grand Slam, laying a great advantage for her to qualify for the Grand Slam through to the Olympics. In the match of the day, Song Jie defeated world junior champion Arya Powell and Tokyo Olympic third runner-up Ruth Gaby all the way in the first half of the bracket to enter the final. Another Chinese player, Zhang Mengyu, held the bottom half of the bracket and not only secured a place for herself in the semi-finals against another contender for Grand Slam qualification, Cecilia Burgos of Spain, but also cleared the last hurdle for her teammate Song Jie, allowing her to secure her Olympic pass in the division. In the final, Song Jie won the final victory, and Zhang Mengyu won the silver medal. In addition, the Chinese team also has Guo Qing and Xiao Chenming won the bronze medals in the women's 49 kg and 68 kg respectively.

At just 17 years old, Turkish debutant Élive Agul is currently ranked 131st in the Olympic standings and is still far behind many other big names in the Olympic points track. This month, Agul came to Wuxi to look for opportunities on the Wuxi Grand Slam points track. She qualified for the main draw with a fourth-place finish in the Grand Slam qualifiers. In the competition of the day, Aguer, who is <>.<> meters tall, gave full play to his long-distance scoring advantage, slammed forward to grab the qualification, and created his own dark horse legend. After the game, Agul happily confessed to the organizers: "I love Wuxi. ”

And the Tokyo Olympics men's over 80kg champion Vladislav Larin participated in the competition as a neutral individual. Due to this cycle, he has missed most of the international tournaments, and the Wuxi Grand Slam has become his last chance. In the end, Larin showed absolute strength and successfully held the Olympic direct ticket in his hands.

2025 World Taekwondo Championships host city signing ceremony Photo courtesy of the organizer

The signing ceremony of the host city of the 2025 World Taekwondo Championships was also held on the same day. At the World Taekwondo Federation Executive Committee meeting held in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, on May 5, Wuxi won the right to host the 28 World Taekwondo Championships. The signing of the host city agreement is a formal agreement between the World Taekwondo Federation, the Chinese Taekwondo Association and the Wuxi Municipal People's Government, representing the 2025 Taekwondo World Championships The work has officially entered the preparatory stage, Wuxi will do its best to achieve the "2025 member countries and regions to participate" bid commitment, to hold a history-making Taekwondo global event.

On the 17th, there will also be a direct card competition for women's 57 kg and above 67 kg, men's 58 kg and men's 80 kg. (ENDS)