Tick Tock! Clock Ticking for Paris 2024 as Taekwondo Debriefs after ‘Challenging but Successful’ Tokyo Campaigns
10th September 2021
“The continual pursuit of excellence is key to future success,” says GB Taekwondo Performance Director, Gary Hall, as the sport reflects on its achievements in the Olympics and Paralympics at Tokyo 2020.
Eight fighters represented Team GB and ParalympicsGB at the two Games in Japan, returning with five medals; three silvers (Bradly Sinden, Lauren Williams and para-athlete, Beth Munro) and two bronze (Bianca Walkden and para stalwart, Amy Truesdale).
The back-to-back campaigns will be analysed in a full debrief at the end of the month in readiness for the start of a new cycle ending with Paris 2024.
“When you go into these high-performance, elite events, you learn so much, you capture it, work on the things that need changing and tend to come back even better which is our story,” said Hall.
“If you look at our results and progress over the last cycle, it is the best on record. I see us continuing that into Paris and then Los Angeles 2028.
“I wake up thinking of gold and that’s what drives me,” added the long-serving GBT boss. “Athletes also wanting to make that gold medal leap is what keeps us all passionate and excited about what we do.
“Three of our five athletes medalled at the Olympics which is a significant return on the investment both from a financial and physical perspective.
“The Paralympics were a historic Games for taekwondo and while we only took three athletes, two of them medalled.
“It was desperately sad for Matt Bush, the current world champion, who had to withdraw from the team before Tokyo. But for that we may have finished with three medals.
“And never in any of our previous campaigns have we had to prepare with a pandemic in the background.
“This ensured a significant number of restrictions on what we had planned to do in the final 12 months preceding Tokyo but the team still did amazingly well.”
After the tough and challenging times surrounding both Games athletes are enjoying well-earned rest and recuperation.
But they will filter back to the National Taekwondo Centre in Manchester in the coming weeks with end of year tournaments in Holland and France on the horizon.
“The ranking points qualification process has already started so we need to get out early to pick up points,” added Hall. “Next year there is a lot to play for so will be extremely important towards ranking positions.”
The World Championships-postponed in 2021- are scheduled for China next April with Manchester hosting the European Championships in Manchester on dates to be confirmed. 2022 will also see the return of the World Grand Prix series.
“Paris will be a significantly different kind of Games in three years’ time for us. But it is a European Games and we know our team performs extremely well in Europe, so we have no reason to suggest we won’t be able to do that again next time around.”