British International Open – Manchester 2023 was held at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester in July.

For the first time in over a decade the British International Open Taekwondo Combat Sport Championships took place, with Manchester hosting the two-day event on Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd July 2023.

A total of 295 athletes competed across the event, with more than 20 nations represented, including a Refugee Athlete. 128 officials and coaches accompanied the athletes at the event.

British Taekwondo International Open 2023. Day 1. Photo by J Fowles Photography

Building on British Taekwondo’s highly successful partnership with Manchester City Council this event took place in the newly refurbished ‘medal factory’ National Cycling Centre in Manchester, host to many successful British Championships during the last decade. Having recently completed a multi-million-pound refurbishment this world class venue was the ideal location for the return of the UK to the international open calendar.

Ian Leafe, Chief Executive of British Taekwondo said, “After a 12 year break it was fantastic to see a British International Open back on the calendar and to see many happy faces enjoying a high-quality competition at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester.”

He added “Great Britain has an unrivalled reputation for putting on world class events, and our domestic Nationals competitions are getting bigger and bigger every year in terms of numbers, so it’s brilliant that we now have an international open event that bridges the gap between the two, giving our aspiring athletes experience of an international-level event themselves.”

“It can be a complex process to navigate – with GALs & GOLs, World level coach and referee qualifications needed, and stricter rules around weigh ins and random weigh ins, and it can be a bit of a learning curve for some who are maybe not used to international level events – hopefully this is all good experience for the future!”

“We aim to make the British International Open a regular fixture on the international calendar and are already looking at dates for early 2024, so look out for that, and we would ask all our clubs and coaches that do travel the international circuit to start planting the seeds with overseas teams and the European community especially. We want to make the British International Open one of the flagship competitions on the European circuit in years to come and need everyone’s help to do that.”

“Thank you again to everyone that supported the event.”

British Taekwondo International Open 2023. Day 1. Photo by J Fowles Photography

The British International Open – Manchester 2023 was sanctioned by World Taekwondo, promoted by the European Taekwondo Union, and organised by British Taekwondo. Champions were crowned in a range of categories:

  • Senior Kyorugi divisions took place on Saturday 1st July and held G1 status for World Taekwondo rankings. You can find results here.
  • Cadet and Junior divisions took place on Sunday 2nd July and held E1 status European Taekwondo Union rankings. You can find results here.

Matt Marshall, Events Manager at British Taekwondo said, “The British International Open kicked off the British Taekwondo event calendar for 2023 and it was excellent to see so many of our combat sport clubs in action at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester.”

He added “Although small in numbers, it was an important step to take in the delivery of the British Taekwondo strategy. The British International Open provided British athletes with the opportunity to gain World and European ranking points on home soil, to gain competition experience against international teams, and to learn and gain familiarity with the way international events are run.”

“We are in discussions with World Taekwondo and the National Cycling Centre about the best dates to host the 2024 British International Open and will be sharing an update very soon.”

The 2023 British International Open was attended by athletes, coaches and supporters from clubs around the UK, as well as participants and spectators from overseas.

Athletes from the following countries competed in the event: Austria, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kosovo, Moldova, Morocco, Norway, Somalia, Spain, Ukraine, and Uruguay.

The event was underpinned by a dedicated group of volunteers and officials from British Taekwondo.

You can find all of the details, results and recordings of the live stream on the 2023 British International Open event page.


Officials at the British Taekwondo International Open 2023. Photo by J Fowles Photography

Notes for Editors:

What is Taekwondo?

Taekwondo is a diverse traditional Martial Art and Olympic & Paralympic combat sport, offering a range of contact and non-contact participation and competition opportunities. Great Britain is a highly successful nation on the World stage with GB Taekwondo international stars leading the way. Athletes wear electronic body & head protectors that both score points and keep participants as safe from injury as possible in this full contact sport. These are supplemented with additional safety equipment such as shin, arm, groin and mouth guards. Many British Taekwondo clubs concentrate solely on Sport Taekwondo training and competition whilst others may offer a mix of combat sport and Martial Art. Taekwondo originated in South Korea and is now popular in over 200 countries with over 60 million people practicing worldwide.

Photos showing Taekwondo are available on request to Richard Gottfried, Marketing, Digital & Media Manager via

About British Taekwondo

British Taekwondo is the National Governing Body for the Sport of Taekwondo in Great Britain and is the representative of World Taekwondo and the European Taekwondo Union. British Taekwondo is a membership organisation with over 600 clubs and 18,000 individual members nationwide. The membership includes elite Olympic athletes, under the direction of GB Taekwondo at the National Academy in Manchester together with national players, referees, officials, instructors and individual members who train regularly in local clubs.

British Taekwondo also organises two national championships for its members each year. The British Taekwondo National Poomsae Championships and the British Sport Taekwondo Championships. Full details of British Taekwondo events can be found here.

Taekwondo in Manchester

Manchester is home to GB Taekwondo. GB Taekwondo is responsible for the preparation, management and performance of British athletes at the Olympic Games, Paralympic Games and at World and European Championships. GB Taekwondo manages the full time ‘World Class Performance’ programme.

GB Taekwondo’s senior and junior athletes train at the National Taekwondo Centre in Newton Heath, Manchester. The facility is managed by GLL and the venue provides programmes and activities for clubs and schools, ensuring that the National Taekwondo Centre is fully utilised in the hours that GB athletes are not training.

The city will also host the 2023 World Taekwondo Grand Prix – Final in December, as Manchester Regional Arena will welcome athletes from around the world competing for ranking points ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.


For further information and media accreditation for future British Taekwondo events please contact Richard Gottfried, Marketing, Digital & Media Manager via

You can visit the British Taekwondo website and follow British Taekwondo on social media via Linktree.


You can download this media release article as a PDF here.