Scottish prospect Smith relishing first Grand Prix start
9th August 2018
That was 10 years ago and now the Scottish teenager is carving out a successful career of her own.
This weekend the reigning Junior World Champion takes the next step in her development with a debut at the second World Taekwondo World Grand Prix of the year.
Smith, still only 17, is part of an eight-strong squad competing in Moscow (August 10-12) and looking to build on an impressive set of results in 2018.
“Sarah has been an inspiration since I was little,” says Smith who followed her Junior gold in Tunisia with a bronze medal at the Senior European Championships in Russia back in May.
“I saw her win her bronze medal in Beijing and have looked upto her ever since. I even went on a number of her training camps.”
The latest Grand Prix-the fourth leg of the 2018 series will be staged in Manchester from October 19-21-provides another opportunity to mix it with the world’s best.
“I’m looking forward to getting involved with the more experienced players,” she confirmed.
“There are a couple taking part who have been to the Olympics so I want to get in there against them and cause some trouble.
“Training has been tough but gone really well. We have had training camps against Norway and France. It’s been hard but it is good and I like it.”
Four GB Taekwondo stars won medals at the previous Grand Prix in Rome and Bradly Sinden and Lauren Williams are out to improve on their bronze podium finishes.
Christian McNeish suffered a rare failure in the Italian capital and after four gold medals so far in 2018, including gold at the European Championships, the Londoner is keen to rediscover his best form.
Double Olympic medallist, Lutalo Muhammad, is also part of the squad. And after three successive silver medals this year, the Walthamstow Warrior is out to make it fourth time lucky in Moscow.
*World champion Amy Truesdale and Londoner Joe Lane have flown to South Korea for the Open Para Kimunyong Cup International taking place on Friday, August 10 in Seoul.
“This is the last tournament of the season for us and winning the gold medal will mean vital points towards qualification for the 2020 Para Taekwondo Championships,” said Truesdale.
“This will be my second time in the Far East so I’m looking forward to the experience,” added Lane. “Korea is the home of taekwondo so it will be great to compete out there and hopefully come back after some good performances.”
Friday, August 10:
-68kg: Christian McNeish (Plaistow), Bradly Sinden (Doncaster)
-67kg: Lauren Williams (Newport, Gwent)
Saturday, August 11
-58kg: Hassan Haider (Falkirk)
-57kg: Rachelle Booth (Wigan)
Sunday, August 12
-80kg: Damon Sansum (Elgin), Lutalo Muhammad (Walthamstow)
-49kg: Jordyn Smith (Carronshore)
*Watch Olympic medallists Jade Jones and Bianca Walkden compete at the Manchester edition of the World Taekwondo Grand Prix, which is back at the Regional Arena from 19-21 October. Tickets are now on sale via http://www.kickingforglory.com