Home Advantage for Team GB
Challenging world class opponents around the globe has it’s perks, but nothing beats fighting in the UK, especially when it secured Lutalo Muhammad a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics. Lutalo hopes to replicate this success with his next two assignments in Manchester, making the most of the home advantage.
With more than 700 competitors representing 81 clubs in total, the two-day tournament is set to be a hectic one. Popularity for the sport has rocketed since Olympic champion Jade Jones wowed crowds two years ago.
“The Nationals are the perfect preparation for the up coming Grand Prix,” confirms Lutalo. “But also my title is on the line and I am determined to keep it.
“I am in a fortunate position that some of my biggest rivals are team mates at the GB Academy. So, it means there is a good edge between us all the time and allows me to be the sharpest I can be going into tournaments.
“I have to stay on top of my game,” adds Lutalo, who will contest the -87kg weight division. “I have done a lot of tournaments this year so it has been taxing.
“But we are well looked after and I feel confident going into the Nationals. Besides, I am undefeated at home since the last Olympics so I want to keep my record going.”
Manchester has some great memories for Lutalo, who won his 2012 European title in Manchester; a triumph that helped rubber-stamp his eventual Olympic selection.
The other GB athletes are: Rachelle Booth (-62kg,Wigan), Mahama Cho (+87kg, Stockwell), Nicole Huntington (-57kg, Ipswich), Murdo Mackenzie (87kg, Inverness), Charlie Maddock (-53kg, Stoke on Trent), Christian McNeish (Plaistow), Tom Smith (-80kg,Poplar), Tony Stephenson (-68kg, Bury), Lyle Walker (87kg, Law), Lauren Williams (-63kg, Newport, Gwent).
Amy Truesdale will also be competing and is Britain’s only World Pars Taekwondo champion, however will compete in the able bodied competition.
If you want to check out the list of all entries, click here.