Woolley finishes fifth in Grand Prix Final

SOUTH Dublin Taekwondo’s Jack Woolley finished off the year with a fifth place finish at the Grand Prix Final in Moscow.

The Tallaght man kicked off his campaign with a 17-10 victory over Australia’s Safwan Khalil before losing out to the tournament favourite and eventual silver medallist Jun Jang of Korea 27-17.

Jack Woolley action 121219

Tallaght’s Jack Woolley took fifth place at the Grand Prix Final in Moscow

Bagging 12.1 Olympic ranking points in the process, Woolley kept himself in the final automatic qualification spot for next year’s Summer Games in Tokyo, but it remains to be seen if he will stay  there after the World Taekwondo Grand Slam in China on December 20.

Given that a number of the top seeds have withdrawn from that tournament having already, themselves, secured Olympic qualification, it could pave the way for a large Chinese contingent who sit further down the leaderboard to make a swift rise up the table at just one event.

Certainly Woolley will be keeping his fingers crossed that he can hang on to that Olympic berth, but, should it be pinched from him, he will still have an opportunity to make the cut at the European Olympic qualifiers in Milan in April.

The 20-year-old has enjoyed a tremendous year so far, winning gold medals at the Turkish and Australian Open as well as the Pan-Am Championships in Las Vegas.

He took silver in the US Open and, in what was arguably his best performance, picked up the same colour at the European Championships- a massive boost in his drive for Tokyo 2020.

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