Oct 1, 2019 - The U.S. Senior Grand Slam this weekend has come to an end and we can say that it was an event that will live long in the memory for all involved. The event itself its being talked about as of the best USATKD events yet with high quality Athletes and production value that made the event feel like a premium Taekwondo sporting event and is a great indication that USA Taekwondo is taking great steps towards and surely had a bright future ahead of it.
The Grand Slam was also filled with announcements such as the reveal of the 2020 U.S. Open dates and location, which will take place in Walt Disney World, Florida at the spectacular ESPN Wide World of Sports venue from February 27 to March 1, next year. That wasn’t the only news for the 2020 U.S. Open, it was also announced that USA Taekwondo and World Taekwondo Europe will be working together and sanctioning the European ranking points at the U.S. open for the European Cadet and Junior Athletes. With these huge announcements the 2020 U.S. Open looks to be one of the best U.S. Opens ever!
One of the the biggest surprises at the U.S. Senior Grand Slam was the $1,000 prize money for the winner of each division. Athletes, coaches, spectators, and those watching at home all tuned in to see who was going to take the prize money and witness who came out on top of their division.
The U.S. Senior Grand Slam featured great action and amazingly talented athletes, showcasing the great potential of Taekwondo in the United States. With a remarkable 7 out of 8 number one seeded athletes winning their division at the Grand Slam, Indicating that the ranking system is a great predictor as to talent within the sport but also has a profound effect on the success of the U.S. Taekwondo athletes. Not only did we see high ranked athletes come out on top, but we got to see remarkable performances from athletes such as Faith Dillion who took on the number one ranked athlete in her division in the Finals and Niklas Poland from WCAP who took 1st place in his division, becoming the only athlete of the weekend to break the streak of top seeds taking top prizes, in the very final match of the tournament.
We are looking forward to future Grand Slams and the amount of talent we will see, such as the upcoming U.S. Cadet Grand Slam October 18 - 21, where we will get to see the future of USA Taekwondo.
Congratulations to the Athletes listed below for their great performance and victories at the inaugural U.S. Senior Grand Slam.
Monique Rodriguez, -49kg
Anastasija Zolotic, -57kg
Ara White, -67kg
Hannah Keck, +67kg
David Kim, -58kg
CJ Nickolas, -68kg
Niklas Poland, -80kg
Jonathan Healy, +80kg
Each of these athletes took home 160 ranking points, a place in the Athlete Academy, qualified for the new National Team Roster with a place in any National Team Fight off AND $1000 - quite a weekend for these exceptionally talented U.S. athletes!