Pan American Games champion Daniela Souza is among the athletes to qualify for Mexico's team for the Pan American Taekwondo Championships next month ©Getty Images

Eighteen taekwondo players have won berths to represent Mexico at the Pan American Championships in the Dominican Republic next month.

All four of Mexico's champions at the last edition of the Pan American Championships - which the nation hosted in Cancún - qualified to defend their titles.

They are Brandon Plaza, Carlos Navarro, René Lizárraga and Daniela Souza.

Souza triumphed in the women's under-49 kilograms division at the selective trials at the Centro Deportivo Tricentenario de Chihuahua.

"I am happy to win gold and I feel very satisfied as it was a very difficult and demanding event, Souza said.

"It would be my third Pan American Championships, in the first I was in the quarter-finals, in the second I won, and now I hope to repeat the title."

Under-46kg fighter Amelia Espinoza, Fabiola Villegas at under-53kg, Anel Félix at the new weight of under-57kg, Carolina Velázquez in the under-62kg category, Leslie Soltero at under-67kg, Victoria Heredia at under-73kg and over-73kg athlete Paloma García join Souza in the women's team.

Plaza is to compete at men's under-58kg, Navarro under-63kg and Lizárraga under-74kg.

Under-54kg competitor César Rodríguez, 2021 runner-up Iker Casas at under-68kg, under-80kg fighter José María Pastor, Bryan Salazar at under-87kg and heavyweight Carlos Sansores complete the men's line-up.

Mexico won 16 medals at the Pan American Taekwondo Championships in 2021, more than any other country.

Punta Cana is due to host this year's Pan American Championships from May 2 to 5.