Funding boost for Para Taekwondo, Karate towards Tokyo 2020
2nd February 2018
Performance Director Gary Hall has promised more success from GB Taekwondo’s Manchester medal factory after new funding investment from UK Sport.
In addition to an £8.2 million contribution for its World Class Performance programme during the current Olympic cycle, an additional £435,000 has been made available for Para-Taekwondo ahead of its Paralympic debut at Tokyo 2020.
Both disciplines have their base at the National Performance Centre which is now home to a fledgling karate programme including 2016 world champion, Jordan Thomas.
The partnership, signed last year, sees British Karate Federation athletes receive access to training facilities plus support services which includes medical and performance analysis.
As a result, karate, also making its Olympic debut in Japan, has been awarded £630,000 as part of UK Sport’s Medal Support Plan.
“We have a clear vision, clear Tokyo objectives,” says Hall whose athletes include double Olympic Games gold medallist, Jade Jones, double World Champion, Bianca Walkden, plus 2017 World Championship medallists, Mahama Cho, Damon Sansum and Bradly Sinden.
“GB Taekwondo has a great track record of medal and business development which has made further investment by UK Sport possible.
“We thank UK Sport for their continued belief in GB Taekwondo and all the team at GB Taekwondo who work tirelessly on a daily basis to achieve sustained progress.
“The National Centre in Manchester continues to be a centrepiece for our growing strength and allows for some amazing training and team development.
“Our job, as it has always been, with the investment is to make it a great return by having more winning moments, which I am sure will happen for both Para Taekwondo and Karate.”
UK Sport Chief Executive Liz Nicholl said: “UK Sport’s vision is to inspire the nation through Olympic and Paralympic success.
“This announcement, following the annual investment review into our summer sports, confirms strong potential to deliver more medal moments from more sports in Tokyo 2020.
“Exciting new events such as sport climbing, karate, para taekwondo and BMX freestyle will be funded to inspire a whole new generation of Olympic and Paralympic sports fans.
“It is fantastic that we already have world class talents ready to compete for medals in those events and more.”
Reigning Karate World Champion, Jordan Thomas said: “It’s been great getting support for the last three months and knowing now that it’s going to continue – that’s amazing, I can’t ask for more!”
Current Para Taekwondo World Champion, Amy Truesdale said: “I don’t think it’s sunk in yet, but I’m really happy that it has finally happened. I’m really grateful for full-time funding – I’ve sacrificed a lot to be here.”
UK Sport will be targeting medals in 20 Olympic sports and 18 Paralympic sports in Tokyo 2020.
This is more than the equivalent UK Sport-funded medals won in London 2012 and Rio 2016.