Rome is primed to welcome some of the world's best taekwondo athletes for the first World Taekwondo Grand Prix Series of 2019 and the first ever Poomsae Grand Prix.
The Rome 2019 Grand Prix will take place in the iconic Foro Italico Arena, starting tomorrow and running until June 9.
The event has attracted 255 of the highest-ranked taekwondo athletes from 53 countries across four male and four female Olympic weight categories.
Athletes present include four of the gold medallists from last month’s Manchester 2019 World Taekwondo Championships.
Simone Alessio of Italy, Jang Jun of South Korea, Britain’s Jade Jones and China’s Jingyu Wu will all compete as well as attending an award ceremony that will be held at the Colosseum.
The inaugural Poomsae Grand Prix will be demonstrated alongside the Rome 2019 Grand Prix and will include prize money for the winning athletes in a discipline that involves a pre-arranged set of movements employing core techniques in response to imaginary attacks.
The World Taekwondo Poomsae Championships was launched in 2006 and has since become one of the most popular events on the taekwondo calendar.
Expanding the Grand Prix concept to include poomsae is part of the federation’s commitment to innovating and evolving the sport for the benefit of its athletes and fans.
World Taekwondo President Choue Chung-won said: “We are very excited to return to Rome for the World Taekwondo Grand Prix.
“Last year’s Rome 2018 Grand Prix was filled with drama, excitement and plenty of action.
“Taekwondo is very popular in Italy and I have no doubt that the people of Rome will return to the arena to create a fantastic atmosphere for our elite athletes.
“The World Taekwondo Grand Prix has come a long way since the first event in December 2013 and has firmly established itself as a core part of our sporting calendar.
“It will be even better this year, as we will also host the inaugural Poomsae Grand Prix which will showcase the very best of our non-Olympic discipline.”