New U.S. Grand Slam Series launches in 2019

May 05, 2019, 1:16 p.m. (ET)

USA Taekwondo is excited to announce that a brand new event type - the U.S. Grand Slam Invitational Series - will launch at the U.S. National Center of Excellence in Colorado Springs later this year.

 

This elite level event will be sanctioned at the new 16.0 point level and the event will be for all cadet, junior and senior world classblack belts, providing high level competition and giving the top U.S. athletes an unmissable opportunity to benchmark themselves against the best and score big points in the races for Olympic, 2020 Junior Worlds and Cadet National team qualification. The winner and runner-up in each of the Cadet and Junior divisions will automatically advance to Phase II of the Athlete Academy selection process, and additionally, the winners of each division will receive free entry to the 2020 U.S. Open Championships and exclusive ‘Grand Slam Champion’ apparel.

 

Held over three separate weekends on consecutive months (September, October and November) athletes will qualify for this prestigious new event in the following ways:

 

Cadet Athletes (10 athletes in each bracket, all weight divisions):

  • All 2019 U.S. National Championships World Class Black Belt Sparring medalists
  • Top six ranked in the U.S. National Rankings sponsored by Tusah (if Nationals medalists are ranked in the top six, or an athlete chooses not to take a spot, the additional spots will be offered to the next highest ranked athlete until all spots are filled)

 

Junior Athletes (10 athlete in each bracket, all weight divisions):

  • All 2019 U.S. National Championships World Class Black Belt Sparring medalists
  • Top six ranked in the U.S. National Rankings sponsored by Tusah (if Nationals medalists are ranked in the top six, or an athlete chooses not to take a spot, the additional spots will be offered to the next highest ranked athlete until all spots are filled)

 

Senior Athletes (16 athletes in each bracket, combined Olympic Weight Divisions)

  • All gold and silver 2019 World Class Black Belt National Championships medalists
  • Top six ranked in the U.S. National Rankings sponsored by Tusah in each of the weight divisions that make up the Olympic Division (if Nationals medalists are ranked in the top six, or an athlete chooses not to take a spot, the additional spots will be offered to the next highest ranked athlete until all spots are filled) – for example, 8 athletes from Fin and 8 athletes from Fly will qualify for the combined Olympic Fin/Fly Competition.

 

The events will take place on the following dates:

 

Seniors - September 27-29, 2019

Cadets - October 18-21, 2019

Juniors - November 1-4, 2019

 

We are currently in discussions with the National Poomsae leadership with regards to the best time and format for the Poomsae Grand Slam competition, and will announce those details as soon as possible.

 

Please note: Cadet and Junior athletes must have competed at the 2019 U.S. National Championships in Minnesota to be eligible.

 

USA Taekwondo Director of High Performance May Spence said: “We’re already seeing the standards begin to rise dramatically across the sport due to the intense competition that has been taking place in the U.S. and around the world, and the addition of these elite level events will satisfy the need to see the best in the U.S. go head to head with each other in a new, meaningful and intense competition. Along with the rebalancing and revision of the points system for 2020, and further exciting changes to be announced for 2020 we are becoming increasingly excited for the future of U.S. taekwondo on the international stage, and the ultimate goal to dominate in ’28’.

 

Invitations to the Grand Slam Series will be sent out based on the rankings and results of the 2019 U.S. National Championships in Minnesota in June/July so make sure you give everything to be ranked high OR to medal in Minnesota to be part of this amazing new competition series. Senior Athlete invitations will be sent out immediately after Nationals using the most recent published rankings. Cadet and Junior invitations will be sent out around 10 weeks before the date of their Grand Slam competition. More information will follow as we get closer to Nationals in Minnesota. Good luck everyone!