Home floor advantage could be key for taekwondo star Jordan Gayle who is looking to get his season back on track at Manchester’s World Taekwondo Grand Prix.
The Stretford star has had a mixed bag of results so far this year with an early exit at the World Championships in May the biggest disappointment.
But the 24-year-old will have the advantage of his home city support when he steps onto the mat on October 16.
And he is hoping that the extra boost will mean he brings his best to the Regional Arena and is able to make the short trip home with a medal in hand.
“The start of the season went really well and it went well at the back end of last year as well and I went to the US Open and got a silver there,” said Gayle.
“I was in really good form going into worlds and then I went out first round against someone I thought I was better than.
“That’s kind of been the way in the past few tournaments that I have been going out against people I thought I was better than.
“But I have come back in training and tried to change a few things in my game and hopefully I can go into Manchester and put in a good performance.
“It’s always a buzz to perform in front of a home crowd. As a kid my mum used to come away with me all the time and my dad as well but they don’t come too much anymore.
“So it’s nice when I can get them to come and watch me and it’s nice to not have to be on flights all the time.”
While it might not have been a consistent season for Gayle he says that he has come a long way in the sport since first starting more than a decade ago and feels he still has a lot to offer at the highest level.
“When I first started it was just for the discipline and all that kind of stuff and as I got going I realised I am quite good at it,” he added.
“So ever since I came to the academy about eight years ago I have always been striving for more and more.
“I think for the Grand Prix it is important for me to go there and put in the performance that I believe I can put in.
“I don’t think I have done that in the past few tournaments for various reasons so if I can do that I think I have a good chance of doing well because I believe I am up there with the best.”
The World Taekwondo Grand Prix – featuring the very best Olympic and world champions from across the game – is coming to Manchester on October 16-18. Tickets on sale at www.ticketmaster.co.uk/WTGP