26 May 2021
ParalympicsGB taekwondo squad named for Tokyo 2020
ParalympicsGB has today announced three athletes who will represent Great Britain in Para taekwondo at this summer’s rescheduled Paralympic Games.
Two-time world champion and world number one Amy Truesdale, reigning world champion Matt Bush and Beth Munro - who only began training full-time in the sport in 2019 - will all make their Paralympic debuts this year as the sport joins the Paralympic programme for the first time.
Beth Munro, Matt Bush and Amy Truesdale
Chester-born Truesdale has already enjoyed significant success in Para taekwondo, with multiple world and European medals to her name. The prospect of adding to her tally at Tokyo 2020 is one she relishes:
“I’m absolutely delighted that I’ve been selected to represent Great Britain at the Paralympic Games. I feel like it’s going to be extra special because it’ll be the first time we’re featured as a sport and I’m really privileged to be a part of it.
“My aim when I get out there is to win gold, put on the best performance that I can and inspire others into the sport.”
While Truesdale secured a slot at the Games in 2019 courtesy of her European bronze medal that year and subsequent status as the world ranked number one, it was a different scenario for Bush and Munro.
Qualification rested on crucial winning performances at the European Paralympic Qualification tournament in Bulgaria earlier this month – which was also Munro’s first-ever international Para taekwondo competition.
Truesdale flies towards Munro in training
Both athletes duly delivered, and for Munro, securing selection for the ParalympicsGB team was vindication of her unwavering commitment and dedication to the sport she only took up in 2019.
“It’s still slightly surreal that I’m going to be competing in Tokyo, especially considering I’ve only been training with the team for twelve weeks in total. I’m so honoured and proud to represent my country – it’s like I need to be pinched to know it’s really happening,” said Munro.
“I’ve definitely surprised everyone in my family. Just two years ago I was going for my doctorate and now I will be a Paralympian, they’re all so pleased for me. It’s great to have them behind me, even if they can’t be there in person.”
Welshman Bush, who won world gold in 2019, is delighted now to be able to focus solely on competing in Tokyo in three months’ time.
The 32-year-old said: “It feels good to finally focus on Tokyo, knowing that I’m going rather than just hoping or dealing with tournaments being postponed. It’s great to definitely have a target set now.
“Before lockdown I had a few niggles here or there and I feel like with everything being delayed, it’s actually worked out better for me. I can’t wait to get out there now and show everyone our sport.”
Combatting the pandemic: Matt helping as a keyworker for his family food business
Resilience and determination
ParalympicsGB Chef de Mission Penny Briscoe said: “Para taekwondo is a fantastic addition to the Paralympic movement and to the summer Games programme and I’m absolutely delighted that Amy, Matt and Beth will be part of history as the sport makes its Games debut in Tokyo.
“All three athletes have shown great resilience and determination to get to where they are today and are undoubtedly an asset to the ParalympicsGB team.
GB Taekwondo Performance Director Gary Hall believes the trio will rise to the occasion as Para taekwondo – alongside Para badminton – joins the other 20 sports that will be contested at Tokyo 2020.
“This last year has been really challenging for everyone. The whole team including the athletes, coaches and support staff have worked really hard to maintain their individual targets.
They’ve sought margins where they can and have grown a lot during this time. The athletes have prepared, despite the unpredictable circumstances and are now ready for what will be a historic games.”
A total of around 240 athletes from 19 sports are expected to make up British team that will compete in Japan, with further names to be announced in the coming months.
ParalympicsGB captured the imagination of the British public at London 2012 winning 120 medals in front of sell-out crowds with countless memorable performances.
The team eclipsed that performance at Rio 2016 winning an outstanding 147 medals including 64 golds to finish second in the overall medal table. The rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games will be staged from 24th August to 5th September.
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