Baltic belters? Double test for GB Taekwondo prospects in Estonia
26th August 2022
Promising teenager Leyla Palser has fulfilled one ambition in her young life with elevation to GB Taekwondo’s senior squad.
But as the 17-year-old faces a double test at the European Club Championship and Tallinn Open in Estonia this weekend, emulating a taekwondo icon will take a little longer.
Palser from Epsom makes her debut at the – 57kg division, the weight category teammate Jade Jones has dominated for a decade.
“It has been a dream of mine to be part of this team from such a young age,” says the former Fighting Chance Academy graduate.
“All my hard work has paid off to make the team. But the hard work really starts now so hopefully, it is onwards and upwards.
“It is exciting now I am in an Olympic weight category. Hopefully, I can win ranking points towards it in the next few years and become the next Jade Jones and win gold medals.”
Palser is one of 13 athletes competing in back-to-back events in the Estonian capital, including Farzad Mansouri, the former Afghanistan Olympian who has been training alongside the Manchester-based GB team.
Palser goes into action like Catherine Makanjuola after an intense two-week training camp in Croatia.
A member of GB’s European Championship squad earlier this year, Londoner Makanjuola looks forward to putting into practice what she learned.
“It was tough and I learned so many things,” said Makanjuola who hopes to be in the mix later in the later for World Championship and Grand Prix selection.
“I feel in a better place now and I am looking forward to seeing how I progress in Estonia.”
Euro Club Championships Team:
-58kg: Jacob Fairhead (Farnham), Mohammed Nour (Roehampton)
-68kg: Leo Speight (Wakefield), Josh Tobin (Burscough)
-74kg: Farzad Mansouri (Refugee athlete)
-46kg: Phoenix Goodman (Doncaster) *Development Athlete
-49kg: Catherine Makanjuola (Eltham)
-57kg Adelaide Barnes (Wakefield), Jodie McKew (Dollingstown, Craigavon), Leyla Palser (Epsom)
-67kg: Poppy Mackay (Southport), Chloe Roberts (Stoke)
+73kg: Morgan Curtis (Darlington)