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family fortunes-mancunian elias follows sister onto international stage

A Manchester teenager whose sister previously fought for her country has been selected by GB Taekwondo for next month’s European Junior Championships in Sarajevo.   ELIAS ASEF FROM CHEETHAM HILL IS ONE OF 15 PROMISING FIGHTERS NAMED FOR THE TOURNAMENT IN BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA FROM NOVEMBER 12-15.  Former development squad member Maria Asef was one of the first to hear of her younger brother’s international recognition. “My sister was very proud and congratulated me when she found out I had been selected,” he said. “She told me to concentrate on each match, one by one and to try my hardest in each round. “I can’t wait to compete at the Euros and put in the best performance I possibly can.” Elias, a bronze medallist at the 2018 European Cadet Championships, eventually hopes to follow fellow Mancunians, Michael Harvey and Jordan Gayle into the senior ranks. Harvey, now a GB Taekwondo coach, is a one-time European gold medallist, World Championship silver medallist and an Olympian at Beijing 2008. Gayle fought at the 2015 Worlds and won Open titles in Holland, Belgium, Serbia and Turkey.   elias, who like harvey & gayle fights at -68kg, is a member of the taekwondo machine club at the national taekwonodo centre.  “My preparation has gone very well so far,” he confirmed. “But I make sure I balance my education with my Taekwondo. I complete my homework and revision which then allows to me train in the evening at Taekwondo Machine without having to worry about schoolwork. That way I am 100 percent focussed on training.” Teammate Josh Tobin hopes to make up for lost time. He was selected for last year’s World Junior Championships in Bulgaria that were ultimately cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. “To finally be competing internationally again is a fantastic feeling,” said the Lancashire youngster. “I am beyond honoured and proud to have been selected again". “Taekwondo has given me unforgettable opportunities and I can’t imagine my life without it. There is no better feeling than putting that headguard on. I can’t wait to use the competition as a chance to develop myself further as an athlete, competing with some of the best in Europe. I’m going to leave everything on the mats.” Phoenix Goodman from Southampton was another athlete named for last year’s World Juniors but unable to fight. “I was devastated about that,” admitted the LMC Taekwondo club member. “So, to be recognised for another major and to get the opportunity to represent GB brings back all the excitement and pride I felt then. I also feel privileged to be in the position where I can represent my country doing what I love,” said Phoenix who has been mentored by former GB international, Max Cater in addition to his role with the Development Squad. “Some of the biggest benefits I receive from training with the GB development squad are training with talented athletes who want the best for each other. Training alongside other hard-working athletes in a competitive environment, I find myself improving because there is always someone wanting to push you". "My family are over the moon to hear I’ve been selected for the European Championships because they know how hard I train and how much I want this. They are my biggest supporters. So, to hear I’ve been recognised to represent GB, they burst with pride for me. I am beyond excited to get back in the ring because do I love it". As for Fighting Chance graduate, Jodie McKew, her preparation for this event has proven to be a little different from her teammates. “I’m fortunate to call myself a fulltime athlete who gets to train with some of the best athletes and coaches in the world and have previously competed at the senior European Championships too". “It feels amazing to be selected especially since the Junior World Championships cancellation, this is such a great opportunity and I’ll go out there and do the best that I can.”

manchester announced as hosts of the european taekwondo championships 2022

The European Taekwondo Championships 2022 will take place in Manchester, Great Britain from 19-22 May 2022, European Taekwondo Union and GB Taekwondo announced today (22 September 2021). Taking place at the Manchester Regional Arena, home of the British Taekwondo, the event is being hosted in partnership with UK Sport, Manchester City Council and British Taekwondo. Manchester 2022 will be the second time the city has hosted this world-class competition, having hosted at the same venue in 2012. Around 400 athletes from over 40 European nations are expected to compete over four exhilarating days of action. The announcement comes off the back of Tokyo 2020 and the fantastic performances by our British athletes which saw Olympic Silver medal wins for Lauren Williams and Bradly Sinden, and Paralympic Silver for Beth Munro, with Bronze medals secured by Bianca Walkden and Amy Truesdale. The European Taekwondo Championships Manchester 2022 will be the first major competition since Tokyo and is an important qualifying event for the next Olympics in Paris in 2024. Esther Britten, Head of Major Events at UK Sport, said: “Funded by The National Lottery, we have a dedicated programme of major events that help GB athletes qualify and prepare for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. As we begin the journey towards Paris 2024, hosting this European Championships in Manchester provides an exciting, competitive opportunity for athletes, right here on home soil.”   Councillor Luthfur Rahman OBE, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, added: “It is fantastic news that Manchester has been chosen to host the Championships. We're proud to be working with the European Taekwondo Union, GB Taekwondo and UK Sport to welcome some of the Europe’s elite Taekwondo athletes to our city. Manchester is a global leader when it comes to hosting sporting events and our innovative approach to staging competitions combined with our passionate fans will ensure this is a fantastic edition of the European Championships.”   Matt Archibald, Chief Executive of GB Taekwondo, the high-performance arm of the sport said: “I’m delighted that the UK once again can host the Championships and we look forward to welcoming everyone to Manchester, the British home of the sport we all love. I’m particularly pleased we have been able to integrate the Paralympic and Olympic disciplines into this single event and see this as the future for all competitions. I know that everybody involved will work tirelessly to ensure we deliver a spectacular event for athletes and fans alike.”   ETU President, Sakis Pragalos was very pleased to see that UK will host the G4 European Championships. He said: “After the wonderful World Championships in 2019, ETU is very happy to travel to Manchester again. The athletes will have once more a magnificent experience as the events organized by GB and British Taekwondo are always some of the best we see!”   Ian Leafe, Chief Executive of British Taekwondo, the national governing body responsible for grassroots and development, added: “This promises to be a thoroughly entertaining event for all ages and we hope the sporting performances of the GB athletes on the court matched with their inspirational stories will inspire people of all ages to seek out and try Taekwondo for themselves.”   Ticket for the European Taekwondo Championships Manchester 2022 go on sale in November.   FOR REFULAR UPDATES & TICKET INFORMATION, REGISTER HERE.

manchester sports awards

We are pleased to announce that the Manchester Sports Awards is returning for 2021. The event will take place on the evening of Friday 26 November at the Kimpton Clocktower Hotel.   After a tough 18 months for sport and everyone involved with sport we again want to recognise the continued hard work of our Manchester based clubs, coaches, leaders, organisations, volunteers and officials who have supported the ongoing development of sport & physical activity in our City.    We will acknowledge those who have worked hard to make a difference through sport within our communities and importantly thank those who have gone above and beyond throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.    Nominations are now open! You can cast your nominations via our online form or download a copy to send via email/post. Please note the closing date for submitting your nomination form is MONDAY 18 OCTOBER 2021. Each category will be shortlisted with the top three in each being invited with a guest to the event on the 26 November  at the Kimpton Clock Tower Hotel. Please make sure to share this with your clubs, organisations, schools, volunteers etc.   We look forward to receiving your nominations and to see you at the awards in November.