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GB Taekwondo Greets Fantastic Five

Great Britain’s world class performance programme will be welcoming five new recruits.

The athletes have been hand-picked from the Academy’s very own talent pathway programme, funded by Sport England, as well as this year’s instalment of the UK Sport and EIS supported Fighting Chance initiative.

No strangers when it comes to the Taekwondo circuit, Junior World Champion Abigail Stones of TKD Academy Liverpool and Spanish Open medallist Taylor Goodall have already built up quite an impressive track record through the talent pathway programme and will join the GB Academy before heading off to compete in Latvia, as part of this year’s Junior European Squad.

Liverpool born Abigail has also been selected to represent Great Britain at the World Taekwondo Grand Prix in Manchester, later this month.

Commonwealth Championships silver medallist, Feyi Pearce, who is a member of Allen Taekwondo Academy, has achieved a great deal during his time as a junior athlete and will begin training in Manchester in the -58kg weight division.

Fighting Chance newcomers, -80kg Ryan Marlow and -49kg Shannon Ryan, both of whom are entering the squad from a kickboxing background, will be fighting alongside the likes of former graduates London 2012 bronze medallist Lutalo Muhammad, World Championships silver medallist Damon Sansum and European Games Champion Charlie Maddock.

Taylor, who is a member of Buzz in Liverpool, said, “It’s been an ambition of mine to become a full time athlete for quite some time now.”

She continued: “I’m really excited for the future and look forward to the challenges ahead.”

Similarly, her Liverpool based team-mate Abigail was just as over joyed, “I am so happy to be a part of Great Britain’s national team as a full time athlete and I’m so thankful for the opportunity!”

GB Performance Director Gary Hall explains, “Our five new athletes are from different backgrounds, two from the Fighting Chance talent ID programme and another three that arrive as the result of a growing and improving pathway.”

He added: “It’s showing evidence again that the development of the talent pathway, which is funded by Sport England, is starting to have benefits.”

“The improving connectivity between the national development squads and the athletes’ own clubs and coaches is important too. It helps us to create synergy with their development plans.”

“We constantly feed back to the athlete and to their coach, which in turn allows them to go back to their club and work on things.”

“But you can’t replace full time training, particularly when you’ve been identified as a talented athlete as have these recruits. They now have their chance to go on a journey towards Tokyo 2020, which is a tremendous achievement for them personally as well as for the development programme.”
Our hopes are high for the new athletes and we wish them the best of luck for the future.

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