Becs to the future! McGowan fired up for major challenges as countdown continues to World Championships and Paris 2024
18th March 2023
Rebecca McGowan will put birthday celebrations on hold later this year but the Paris 2024 prospect hopes to do so only for a couple of days.
The recently crowned Belgian Open champion will be 23 on May 27, just two days before the start of the World Championships in Azerbaijan.
By the end of the tournament on June 4, McGowan hopes to have improved on last year’s Worlds performance in Mexico where she claimed bronze in the -73kg division.
The versatile Scot, who has also competed at +67kg and +73kg, boosted her selection chances with success over China’s Lei Xu in Belgium.
If and when confirmed, it will be McGowan’s third World Championships after a senior debut in Manchester four years ago.
“I am still disappointed it wasn’t gold,” she says of her podium placing in Guadalajara. “But it gave me fire in my belly and made me realise how capable I am of winning it.”
McGowan from Dumbarton, the 2021 European champion, is definitely one to watch. She has consistently finished among the medals since bridging the gap from the junior ranks where she also won bronze at the 2016 Junior Worlds.
➡️UPDATE: It's GOLD🥇 for @RebeccaM_TKD
— GB Taekwondo 🇬🇧 (@GBTaekwondo) March 18, 2023
In 2021, the part-time University of Salford student was named understudy to teammate, Bianca Walkden for Tokyo 2020, travelling to Japan as a reserve to the three-time world champion.
McGowan would love to fight in the French capital in her own right but for now can only dare to dream.
“We are all thinking about Paris,” she admitted. “But there is a major step before that and that is getting a place qualified.
“That’s my aim this year so I need to be in the best position I can be. Being among other sports at the Olympic pre-camp was eye-opening.
“It was an experience all of its own I was able to embrace before hopefully having to do it myself.”
McGowan maybe considered a major medal contender every time she fights but by her own admission, she is far from the finished article.
“It doesn’t matter what level you get to there are always ways to improve,” she confirmed.
“Even Jade Jones a double Olympic champion who has achieved all she could possibly do in the sport is still learning every day. I don’t think you ever get to a position where you stop learning.”
McGowan, who took up taekwondo at the age of five, also benefits from advice gleaned from boyfriend and fellow athlete, Bradly Sinden; the 2019 world champion and 2020 Olympic silver medallist.
“He helps me day in, day out,” acknowledged McGowan. “And when it is feasible I train with him and the other boys.
“He is good at telling me what to fix and what to do better. I give him a bit of advice too but his is better than mine,” she laughed.
McGowan won’t compete again before the World Championships but took silver medals at the WT President’s Cup in Turkey and Sofia Open, Bulgaria earlier this year prior to winning in Belgium.
“I am in a really good place,” she agreed. “Better than I was last year and the best place since I had my (ACL) injury.
“But nowhere near close as where I will be when I step on the mat at the Worlds.”