Solid Silver Munro Wins First-Ever ParalympicsGB Taekwondo Medal
3rd September 2021
Beth Munro made history for ParalympicsGB in Tokyo today (Friday) by winning a first-ever para taekwondo medal.
In only her second competition, her first was the Tokyo 2020 qualification event earlier this year, the Liverpool fighter claimed a brilliant silver medal as the sport debuted at the Paralympic Games in Japan.
Fighting in the K44, -58kg category Munro, 27, won three matches to set up a final with vastly experienced Danish athlete, Lisa Gjessing.
Now 40, Gjessing is a veteran of four World and four European Championship wins. In contrast, Munro, a former netball player and javelin thrower, only had four contests under her belt going into the final.
But she showed her ability by knocking out world number three, Gamze Gurdal, of Turkey 34-22 en-route to the final.
She opened with a 21-8 success over Palesha Goverdhan of Nepal and defeated China’s Yujie Li 34-24 in the semi-finals.
Pre-tournament favourite Gjessing made a strong start to the final and ran out a 32-14 victor.
𝑻𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒎𝒐𝒎𝒆𝒏𝒕 𝒘𝒉𝒆𝒏…
Your daughter becomes a @ParalympicsGB medalist! 😱
— GB Taekwondo 🇬🇧 (@GBTaekwondo) September 3, 2021
“I let her get away from me in the first round and then tried to play catch-up,” said Munro whose teammates, Joe Lane and Amy Truesdale fight on Saturday respectively.
“The journey I have been on is so short so to come away with silver medal I am on cloud nine.
“Lisa is a fantastic para-athlete and has been doing it for years. It was a privilege to come up against her and compete.
“Very well done to her but next time I will smash her,” she laughed. “I am a little disappointed not to get gold but at the same time, I am ecstatic.
“There were a few little butterflies in my stomach,” said Munro of her first appearance at the Games.
“But I channelled the nerves quite well. I just let it slip at the end but that’s taekwondo and that’s sport.”
Munro, now looking forward to taking the step up on the podium at Paris 2024, paid tribute to GB veteran Truesdale, among the favourites to strike gold in her K44 event.
“Amy is my idol and role model in para taekwondo,” she acknowledged. “She is fantastic at the sport. If I am as good as her one day, I will be ecstatic.
“I will be definitely rooting for Joe and Amy.”