World Para Championships and Grand Prix set to kick off in London

By Bill Kellick | Oct. 18, 2017, 11:54 a.m. (ET)

(October 18, 2017) -- London 2012’s Olympic and Paralympic venue – The Copper Box Arena – will welcome the world’s very best Para Taekwondo athletes on Thursday for the 2017 World Para Taekwondo Championships.

A total of 263 athletes from a record-breaking 59 countries will compete to become world champions. The flagship event will also provide athletes with the opportunity to earn vital Paralympic qualification points as the qualification cycle for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games begins. The significant increase in the number of athletes from the 2015 World Championships, which attracted athletes from 38 countries, reflects the dramatic rise in global popularity of the sport in recent years.

The Kyorugi competitions at the World Championships will be divided into four sport classes with three male and three female weight categories. There will also be Poomsae sport classes for athletes with an intellectual impairment and for athletes with a motor impairment. A record 47 athletes have registered in the Poomsae sport classes.

The Team USA roster of athletes and coaches for the World Para Taekwondo Championships is as follows:

Para Sparring Team
Brianna Salinaro
Alyssa Fencil
Evan Medell
Corbin Stacey
Johnny Birch
Anthony Smith
Felix Sabates
Daniel Espinosa
Michael Kacer
Nick Malich


Para Poomsae Team
Iris Fuentes
Shania Hershey
Damien Hershey
Eric Wright
Jonathan McNatt
Alyssa Fencil
Para Sparring Coaches
Jason Poos
Keith Young
Brad Deminck
Steve Decker
Para Poomsae Coaches
Johnny Birch
Steve Decker


Following the World Para Taekwondo Championships, the Grand Prix will take place in the Copper Box Arena, from October 20-22. A total 213 athletes from 56 countries plus one Refugee team will compete across four male and four female Olympic weight categories as they battle it out to secure Olympic ranking points and the honor of becoming Grand Prix Champion.

Team USA athletes and coaches for the Grand Prix are as follows:

Grand Prix Team:
Madelynn Gorman-Shore
Paige McPherson
Amanda Bluford
Stephen Lambdin
Jonathan Healy
Jaysen Ishida
Thomas Rahimi
Juan Moreno
Joseph Salim
Brian McCutcheon
Jason Poos