HALL SALUTES HIS RIO STARS BUT SAYS TOKYO CAN BE EVEN BETTER
Gary Hall is already targeting more success for GB Taekwondo athletes at Tokyo 2020 despite record breaking performances at Rio 2016.
And the GB Performance Director has paid tribute to his four athletes who contributed three medals to Team GB’s final haul of 67.
Jade Jones successfully defended her London 2012 -57kg title, Lutalo Muhammad finished with silver at -80kg-just one second away from gold-Bianca Walkden claimed bronze at +67kg and fellow heavyweight, Mahama Cho, had a match for bronze at +80kg.
“We won three medals out of four and that equalled our total from all the other Olympics put together,” said delighted Hall
“It is a fantastic achievement and something the guys should all be proud of.
“You can’t take away from the fact the athletes and the coaches did an extremely good piece of work.
“But it leaves us asking what can be done to improve still further for Tokyo 2020?
“All four were capable of golds. But we work in a world of fine margins, the last six to eight months haven’t been perfect and we have had some challenges.
“So, we know we have got to sort them out in the next four years and we will then do even better.”
While golden girl Jones needs no picking up, her three team-mates left South America all with a sense of what might have been.
“If they don’t get over the disappointment straight away there will be a period of grieving, a period of reflection and then a period of doing something about the reasons why they lost in those crucial moments,” explained Hall.
“They will do it as professionals and the coaches will do it as professionals and get it sorted.
“The target for Tokyo will be to qualify more athletes and to better this target we have just hit.
“And we already have four great athletes who could go again. Jade would be on for a third title, Lutalo could go bronze, silver, gold, Bianca has unfinished business so too Cho.
“But all four finished in the top four of an Olympic Games which is the pinnacle of their sporting career and it’s something to be tremendously proud of.
“However, we were left wanting more, knowing we could have delivered more.
“We will reflect and work harder and we will get more gold in Tokyo, I am sure of that.”