GB Taekwondo fighters aim for home comforts at European Championships in Manchester
3rd May 2022
ALL five GB Taekwondo medallists from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics have been included in GB Taekwondo’s 16-strong squad for the 2022 European Championships in Manchester from May 19-22.
And GB Taekwondo performance director Gary Hall describes the selection as: “A team full of quality.”
The squad announcement comes hot on the heels of a successful showing at the Swedish Open last weekend when Jade Jones, Rebecca McGowan and Bianca Walkden all won gold medals.
“It’s a blend of some of the best taekwondo players on the planet and some of the would-be best taekwondo players on the planet as well,” said Hall.
Double Olympic champion Jones, keen to atone for her first-round exit at the Tokyo Games, triple world titleholder, Walkden, and comeback Scot McGowan defend their Euro crowns from 2021.
Lauren Williams and Bradly Sinden collected silver medals at the last Euros and finished runners-up in Tokyo so are keen to claim a place on top of the podium.
The Manchester event, staged as it was in 2012, at the Regional Arena, Sportcity, also provides opportunity for a home crowd to watch a number of exciting prospects bidding for ranking points towards the Paris 2024 Olympics.
Yorkshire teenager, Aliyah Powell secured a stunning bronze medal at the 2019 World Championships-also hosted in Manchester-and hopes to impress again in front of partisan supporters.
She joins Welsh star Jones in the -57kg weight division; Jones qualifying automatically after her success at the President’s Cup in Albania earlier this year.
Powell’s fellow county born star, Caden Cunningham, a winner of three medals in 2022 so far, gets the nod at -87kg.
Hall acknowledges fighting in front of a home crowd is: “A real help.
“It adds spice, it adds atmosphere, and it is a real help having a crowd behind you, especially one that now understands the sport because of the continuing success our athletes have had at major global events.”
Lutalo Muhammad, who announced himself on the international stage by winning the 2012 European title, has missed selection.
Rio 2016 silver medallist Muhammad, 31 in June, won a bronze medal at the Swedish Open but has spent a long period beset by injuries.
“Lutalo was desperate to prove his fitness but unfortunately these Championships have come too soon for him,” added Hall.
The Para Taekwondo event is fully integrated into the competition schedule for the first time.
Londoner Joe Lane, who also fought at Tokyo 2020, looks to build on last year’s Para Worlds where he collected a first major medal.
Former European champion Amy Truesdale and Beth Munro, who achieved podium places at Tokyo 2020, are joined in the women’s team by newcomer, Keira Forsythe.
Hosted in partnership with UK Sport, Manchester City Council, European Taekwondo Federation and British Taekwondo, the European Championships, a key event towards qualification for the 2024 Paris Olympics, will see around 400 athletes compete from more than 40 nations.
-58kg: Mo Nour (Roehampton)
-68kg: Bradly Sinden (Doncaster)
-74kg: Cameron Booth (Nottingham)
-87kg: Caden Cunningham (Huddersfield)
-46kg: Catherine Makanjuola (Eltham)
-49kg: Maddison Moore (Blakedown)
-57kg: Jade Jones (Flint), Aaliyah Powell (Huddersfield)
-62kg: Chloe Roberts (Stoke)
-67kg: Lauren Williams (Blackwood)
-73kg: Rebecca McGowan (Dumbarton)
+73kg: Bianca Walkden (Liverpool)
-80kg: Joe Lane (Hounslow)
-52kg: Keira Forsythe (Hope, Wales)
-65kg: Beth Munro (Liverpool)
+65kg: Amy Truesdale (Chester)