GB Taekwondo gladiator Christian McNeish is ready to do battle when the World Taekwondo World Grand Prix takes place in Rome for the first time. (June 1-3)
Londoner McNeish has been Britain’s stand-out male performer during 2018 and will be attempting to win his sixth successive tournament and McNeish, one of seven Manchester trained athletes taking part in Italy, remains on a high from his recent victory at the European Championships in Russia.
“Off the back of the Europeans, the motivation is there to push for more ranking points,” said the Plaistow raised star.
“The aim is to make the top six so we will see what happens. This is my first time in Rome but I am looking forward to competing at another Grand Prix.”
McNeish has yet to win a Grand Prix title but has produced some excellent overseas performances this year.
Among his five successive wins was a President’s Cup triumph in Agadir, Morocco earlier this year, beating teammate and European bronze medallist, Bradly Sinden, in the -68kg weight division final.
Yorkshireman Sinden, runner-up at last season’s London Grand Prix, young Scot Hassan Haider and experienced compatriot, Damon Sansum, complete the men’s team.
The women’s squad is headed by recently crowned European champion, Jade Jones. Welsh star Jones has claimed a staggering 13 Grand Prix medals, since her first in 2013, including golds in London and the Ivory Coast last year.
Former World Championship bronze medallist, Rachelle Booth, and 2018 European title winner, Lauren Williams, have also travelled to Italy.
The inaugural Rome tournament at the Foro Italico has attracted 255 athletes from 51 nations.