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Double Chance of Springboard to Stardom for GB Prospects

5th April 2018

A 14-strong Great Britain squad has been selected for the 2018 World Junior Championships starting in Tunisia on Monday, April 9.

Six of the team will also be in action at the Youth Olympic Games qualifiers (April 6-7) – a tournament that catapulted double Olympic Games gold medallist, Jade Jones, to stardom in 2010.

They include 2016 European Cadet champion, Owen Turner (Ultimate Taekwondo), plus 2017 European Junior silver medallists, Sharissa Gannaway (BTS) and Aaliyah Powell (Quest Taekwondo).

Development Programme Coach, Romaine Bailey, is confident ahead of events taking place in Hammamet.

“It’s been quite a quick turnaround from the European Championships last year,” he said.

“But the squad has worked hard over the last few months in the build-up and have been focusing on aspects of the game that we plan to execute tactically.”

He added: “We have a great team heading out to Tunisia with some new and more established faces looking to leave their mark on the mats.

“As for the Youth Olympic Games qualifiers, this is a great opportunity for athletes to go and secure a federation place for their respective weight categories.

“It’s a chance only some juniors, (2001-2002 year of birth) are fortunate to have the opportunity and at such an early stage of their career.

“The athletes that have been chosen are looking forward to the prospect.

“I know they will do their best to qualify ahead of the Youth Olympic Games later this year in Argentina.”

In 2016, Welsh star Lauren Williams won her second successive World Junior title while Scotland’s Rebecca McGowan claimed bronze.

Holly Kelly of Jeon-Sa Taekwondo club said: “I’m really excited.

“This will be the fifth time I have been selected to represent GB at a major championship. I’m looking forward to going out there and giving it my all!”

‘Headhunter’ Jones launched herself onto the world stage by striking gold at the 2010 Youth Olympics in Singapore.

“I think a lot of people can’t really handle the pressure at their first Olympics, they perhaps can’t really hack being on the big stage,” she said.

“But because of Singapore I already felt like I had been there and done it, and it was almost just like another event for me.”

“I would say (to athletes at the Youth Olympic Games) to enjoy the experience but also to knuckle down and remain focused.

“If you put in the best performance you can, that would be the best possible experience.”

World Junior Championships squad:


-51kg: Caden Cunningham (Huddersfield)

-55kg: Mason Yarrow (Doncaster)

– 63kg: Owen Turner (Doncaster)

-68kg: Jamie Kidd (Silsden)

– 73kg: Camran Hassan (Huddersfield)


-42kg: Erin Shaw (Larbert)

– 44kg: Jordyn Smith (Carronshore)

-46kg: Aaliyah Powell (Huddersfield)

-52kg: Holly Kelly (Stockport)

– 55kg: Chloe Roberts (Biddulph)

-59kg: Kyla Julien (Huddersfield)

-63kg: Emily Brighton (Wakefield)

-68kg: Sharissa Gannaway (Southampton)

+68kg: Molly Dunbavin (Wakefield)

Youth Olympic Games qualifiers squad:


-55kg: Mason Yarrow (Doncaster)

-63kg: Owen Turner (Doncaster)

-73kg: Jamie Kidd (Silsden)


-44kg: Jordyn Smith (Carronshore)

-49kg: Aaliyah Powell (Huddersfield)

+63kg: Sharissa Gannaway (Southampton)

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