The Manchester 2019 World Taekwondo Championships got underway with Cambodia represented by two female fighters in the five-day spectacle.
Cambodian athletes Sorn Seavmey and Casandre Nicole Tubbs are competing on behalf of the kingdom in this year’ 19th World Taekwondo Championships in the northern city of Manchester in the United Kingdom.
Seavmey and USA-based Tubbs are joined in the UK by delegates Chroeung Sothea, vice president of the Taekwondo Federation and Coach Choi Yong-sok.
Seavmey lost her Women’s Middleweight clash yesterday against Italy’s Maristella Smiraglia. Meanwhile Tubbs will be competing in the 57-kg weight category.
A record 927 athletes from 145 countries plus 1 refugee team taking part in the largest iteration of the competition in its history.
Seavmey won Cambodia’s first gold medal in any discipline at the Asian Games placing first in the middleweight division at the 2014 Games in Incheon, South Korea.
She also has the distinction of being a multiple SEA Games medallist and claimed victory in the middleweight category at the 2016 Asian Olympic Qualification Tournament in Manila, Philippines netting her ticket to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
Meanwhile, Tubbs has found success on the circuit, winning gold medals at the 2013 US Open and the 2013 German Open, a silver at the 2015 Spanish Open and a bronze at the 2015 Pan American Championships. She is representing the country of her mother’s birth.
A lavish opening ceremony on Wednesday included performances from local dance groups and a spectacular demonstration from World Taekwondo’s demonstration team.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, President Chungwon Choue was thrilled with proceedings.
“It is a pleasure to be back in this great city. A city that truly loves taekwondo. And a city that will provide a fantastic atmosphere for our athletes over the next five days. There are 975 athletes registered which is a record number for a World Championships. Athletes from 150 countries plus one refugee team are in this arena – united by their love of taekwondo. For this is the beauty of our sport: it is universal.”
The competition, which ends on Sunday, promises to be biggest International Taekwondo competition that Britain has seen.