COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 13, 2015) -- Three Americans are currently perched in the top 10 of the World Taekwondo Federation’s Olympic rankings thanks to gold-medal performances at July events. Jackie Galloway (Wylie, Texas), Paige McPherson (Sturgis, S.D.) and Cheyenne Lewis (Elk Grove, Calif.) are at or within striking distance of the coveted top-6 ranking that will automatically qualify an Olympic berth for the U.S.
Galloway moved up three positions in the female +67kg rankings by virtue of her gold medal at the Pan American Games in Toronto. She now sits in fifth place in that division.
McPherson garnered two gold medals and a total of 60 ranking points in the span of one week after winning the female -67kg division at both the Pan Am Games and Chuncheon Korea Open. Those performances lifted McPherson six spots in the rankings to seventh place.
Lewis gained five spots in the female -57kg rankings after winning gold at the Pan Am Games and now holds ninth place in that division.
In the other Olympic weight categories, Steven Lopez (Sugar Land, Texas) is 12th in the men’s -80kg, Stephen Lambdin (Colleyville, Texas) 13th in the men’s +80kg, Terrence Jennings (Alexandria, Va.) 15th and Mark Lopez (Sugar Land, Texas) 16th in the men’s -68kg, Charlotte Craig (Murrieta, Calif.) 21st in the women’s -49kg and Logan Gerick (Keller, Texas) 32nd in the men’s -58kg rankings.
“USA Taekwondo is very excited to have so many athletes sitting in range of capturing a top-six WTF Olympic ranking position by the end of the 2015 season,” said USA Taekwondo Director of High Performance Patrick Wentland. “Our athletes have really come on strong over the last year and have shown our strength as an international power. Team USA now has more athletes qualified for the Grand Prix series than any other country in the world and we continue to climb the Olympic ranking list as we approach the Rio 2016 Games. I expect we will have a very exciting 2015-2016 season.”
In addition to the G-8 rated Grand Prix Final and World Cup, three G-4 rated Grand Prix Series events occurring over the next three months offer athletes valuable chances to improve their WTF rankings. World Grand Prix Series 1 takes place this weekend, Aug. 14-16, in Moscow, followed by Series 2 in Samsun, Turkey, Sept. 18-20, and Series 3 in Manchester, Great Britain, Oct. 16-18.
U.S. athletes in action this weekend at the Moscow Grand Prix include Gerick, Mark and Steven Lopez, Jennings, Lambdin, Craig, Lewis, McPherson, Galloway, Jaysen Ishida (Waikele, Hawaii) and Lauren Hamon (Jacksonville, Fla.).
The World Taekwondo Federation will live-stream the Grand Prix on the WTF YouTube channel and WTF website.
WTF YouTube Live-streaming:
Aug 14th: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHNq_5492lQ
Aug 15th: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYkWkYjELPk
Aug 16th: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYObp_C4dnk
WTF Website Live-streaming:
The links for live-streaming will include semi-finals, final and awarding ceremony.
MEDAL WINNERS AT KOREA OPEN
McPherson’s victory at the Chuncheon Korea Open, held July 22-27, was one of 11 medals won by American competitors. Other U.S. medalists were:
Junior Female -44kg
-Isabella Hrunka (Fort Myers, Fla.) – Gold
-Danielle Wassell (New Caney, Texas) – Silver
Junior Female -63kg
-Ceana Rodriguez (New Britain, Conn.) – Gold
5-Player Team-Senior Men – Bronze
-Ken Jin (San Diego, Calif.)
-Jacob Grace (Morgan Hill, Calif.)
-Saturday Bashir (Lawndale, Calif.)
-Khalil Butler (Seattle, Wash.)
-TJ Curry (Hercules, Calif.)
-Nir Moriah (Houston, Texas)
5-Player Team-Senior Women – Bronze
-Gina Williams (Aliso Viejo, Calif.)
-Abbey Ardiana (Missoula, Mont.)
-Luisa Romero (MEX)
-Yessica Wiryawan (Phoenix, Ariz.)
-Sanaz Shahbazi (Rocklin, Calif.)
-Ara White (Largo, Fla.)
-Aiko Coloso (Seminole, Fla.) - Gold
Color Belt 8-10 yrs.
-Kara Lee (San Ramon, Calif.) – Bronze
-James Blanchard (Morgan Hill, Calif.) – Bronze
Black Belt 14-16 yrs.
-David Cooney (Baton Rouge, La.) – Silver
Color Belt 20 & over
-Armand Morin (Wake Forest, N.C. - Bronze