Updated: Saturday, 4th April 2020 @ 10:16am

Olympic hopeful Tony Grisman – ‘Manchester is the home of GB taekwondo’, ahead of this weekend’s British Open

Olympic hopeful Tony Grisman – ‘Manchester is the home of GB taekwondo’, ahead of this weekend’s British Open

By Steven Oldham, Sports Correspondent

Team GB taekwondo prospect Tony Grisman has praised Manchester’s role in the growth of the sport as Sportcity prepares to host the British Open this weekend.

Grisman – twice a winner at this event in the past – has benefitted from being a member of the GB Taekwondo Academy in East Manchester.

He will be competing in the <68kg weight band this weekend at The Regional Arena on Rowlsley Street.

He said: “Manchester is definitely the home of British taekwondo.  It’s getting better and better.”

The Academy select athletes to train with top class coaches in all disciplines of top level sport – from on the mat training, to nutrition and anti-doping practice.

Tony said: “The staff, training and facilities here are excellent.”

This weekend’s British Open is the first step of the selection process for Team GB chiefs to cast their eye over hopefuls such as Grisman.

His weight band will be hotly contested by other Brits hoping to stake a claim for 2012 – some very close to home.

He said: “I live with Michael Harvey and Jordan Gayle who are also at my weight.  We all know each other’s ambitions but there are no problems outside of competition.”

“Taekwondo is an individual sport - I want to win – and so do they.”

The tournament is returning to Sportcity for a fourth consecutive year, and starts an intense run of competitions leading to the announcement of Team GB’s taekwondo team – due in mid June.

Tony said: “It’s going to be an exciting year.  All the tournaments are equally important so I need to impress.”

“My preparation is going really well – I’ve had some good training in the build up to this competition.”

You can see how Tony gets on at Sportcity on Saturday – set your alarms, as competition starts at 8am with doors open at 7.30.

The tournament runs across both days of the weekend – please note the timetable is subject to change due to TV commitments.

Visit http://www.gbtaekwondo.co.uk/britishopen2011.html for more information and to buy tickets.