2 Taekwondokas to Vie in 1st WTF Grand Slam

Sajjad Mardani (L) and Farzan AshourzadehSajjad Mardani (L) and Farzan Ashourzadeh

World Taekwondo Federation has officially invited two Iranian athletes to take part at a new event titled the World Taekwondo Grand Slam Champions Series.

The first edition of the Grand Slam series, featuring eight tournaments, will kick off at the end of 2017 and continue through early 2018 in Wuxi, China, World Taekwondo President Chungwon Choue and Director General Jin-bang Yang told a press conference in Beijing.

Sajjad Mardani (+80 kg) and Farzan Ashourzadeh (-58 kg) will represent Iran in the event slated for December 23-24, Mehr News Agency reported.

For the 2017-2018 Grand Slam, the invited athletes in each category will be the Rio 2016 Olympic gold medalist and two gold medalists from the 2017 World Taekwondo Championships. It will also invite the champion of the Grand-Prix Final in December 2017; the three winners of the Grand-Prix Series held earlier in 2017; as well as the winner of the 2016 Grand-Prix Final.

In addition, the host country receives one wild card. Wuxi will not only host the championships in the first year, but will continue to do so through 2020.

The purpose of the Grand Slam series is to tell the stories of elite players, using top level professional sports, and create stars. Each year, the series will consist of eight separate tournaments - to represent each Olympic taekwondo weight category (four female, four male). The total prize money offered, in each of the eight separate tournaments in the 2017-18 Grand Slam series, will be $800,000.

The winner in each category this year will take home $70,000; the silver medalist $20,000; and the bronze medalist $10,000.


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