Taekwondo_logoNovember 26 - Britain's taekwondo stars head for Paris this weekend with a close to full-strength squad for the French Open.

Only Jordan Gayle and the recently-married Sarah Stevenson will be missing from the line-up which will feature a combination of Academy and Talent athletes.

Spearheading the team will be British International Open gold medallists Aaron Cook, Tony Grisman and Bianca Walkden, all looking to repeat their recent success at Sportcity Manchester.

World number one Cook, returning to competitive action after a short break, leads a strong male team which includes Grisman, heavyweights Mahama Cho and Damon Sansum, Ruebyn Richards and Andrew Deer.

The -68kg category features Martin Stamper and Michael Harvey.

In the female competition Walkden heads a team that also includes the Youth Olympic gold medallist Jade Jones who will be looking to bounce back from a quarter final exit in Manchester.

Completing the team are Lauren Price and Sophie Dickson.

Gary Hall, Sport Taekwondo UK's performance director said: "We'll be looking to finish off the year on a high and repeat the strong showing at the British Open.

"That said, it's important to recognise that Aaron and a couple of our players have had a break from training after the British and so may just need this event to get back into full swing as we go into 2011.

"The French Open itself is always a strong competition and it will give some of our younger athletes some valuable championship experience ahead of what is going to be an important six months in the lead-up to the World Championships."

Greek Nikolaos Tzellos will be looking to avenge his defeat against Cook in this year's European Championship with old rivals Mamedy Doucara and Mauro Sarmiento also competing in Paris.

In the +80kg category, Cho and Sansom could face Croatia's Vedran Golak and Italian Leonardo Basile while European champion Servet Tazegul from Turkey and silver medallist, Croatia's Filip Grgic, provide the main challenge in the men's -68kg division.

European silver medallist Anne Caroline Graffe from France and recent British Open runner-up, Holland's Reshmie Oogik will provide stern opposition for Bianca Walkden.

In the -57kg female category, the British trio of Jones, Dickson and Price face also face experienced campaigners in Croatia's Ana Zaninovic and Israeli Bat El Gatterer.