Canada’s top taekwondo fighters head to world championships

The 2015 World Taekwondo Championships in Chelyabinsk, Russia begins on Tuesday and Canada will have 16 athletes fighting under the maple leaf.

The team is comprised of eight men and women in respective categories and have four athletes ranked top 10 in their world championship weight class amongst the group.

The top ranked Canadians are Ashley Kraayeveld, who is second in world rankings at the women’s 62kg classification and Yvette Wong, number two in the 46kg division as per latest world rankings.

Canada in Taekwondo action at London 2012 Olympic Games.

Canada in Taekwondo action at London 2012 Olympic Games.

Marc-Andre Bergeron is Canada’s top ranked male fighter at fourth in the world in the 87kg class and Tyler Muscat is the other Canadian in the top 10 (at 10th) in the 54kg group.

World rankings don’t necessarily reflect Olympic standings, where Kraayeveld, Yong, Bergeron and world 68kg fighter Maxime Potvin are in the top 10 and could pick up more points toward Rio 2016 qualification. Full world championship team roster is available on the Taekwondo Canada website.

One fighter who is slightly out of the top 10 (at no. 12) is Melissa Pagnotta. The Guadalajara 2011 Pan American Games gold medallist is competing in the women’s 67kg category.

The world championship will run from May 12 to 18 in Chelyabinsk, located nearly 1,800 kilometres east of Russian capital Moscow.