The British Olympic Association (BOA) has today named the five athletes that will represent Team GB in taekwondo at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Double Olympic champion Jade Jones is named beside returning Olympians Bianca Walkden and Mahama Cho and debutants Bradly Sinden and Lauren Williams.
Jones made history by becoming Great Britain’s first ever taekwondo athlete to win gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games before going on to become a double Olympic champion at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games four years later. The Welsh -57kg fighter has become one of Team GB’s most acclaimed female athletes and her medal success has only continued in recent years. Jones claimed the gold medal at the 2019 World Championships and took the European crown for a third time in April this year.
Heavyweight fighter, Walkden has had an impressive medal tally over the years and made a name for herself by becoming the first Great British taekwondo athlete to take the World Championships crown three times. Also a triple European champion, the Liverpool-born, +67kg category athlete will make Tokyo her second Olympic outing where she will look to build on her bronze medal win at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Adding to the side’s experience is longstanding member of the GB Taekwondo team, Cho. The +80kg fighter qualified to compete at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games by winning the European qualification tournament in January of that year, but missed out on medalling by finishing fourth. The Londoner gained his first major medal (silver) in 2017 at the World Championships, followed swiftly by a gold medal win at the World Taekwondo Grand Prix Rabat.
Debutant Lauren Williams switched from kickboxing to taekwondo after being inspired by teammate Jones at London 2012. The Welsh-born -67kg category fighter struck gold at the European Championships in 2016 and in the same year was selected as a reserve for Rio 2016. In 2019 Williams won her third consecutive European Championship gold medal and recently claimed silver in the 2021 edition of the event.
Completing the line-up is Doncaster fighter Bradly Sinden, best known for his historic win at the 2019 World Championships where he landed the title of Great Britain’s first male world champion. As well as claiming the top spot at the 2015 Junior European Championships, Sinden won his first senior major medal (bronze) at the 2017 World Championships, followed quickly by silver success at the World Taekwondo Grand Prix that same year.
On selection, Team GB Chef de Mission for Tokyo 2020, Mark England, commented: “It is with great pride that we welcome this group of athletes onto Team GB for the Tokyo Olympic Games. This is an extremely strong team; a double Olympic champion, an Olympic bronze medallist and a triple world and European champion – amongst various junior and European titles – is extremely impressive and demonstrates the strength of talent this sport has.
“As we move ever closer to qualifying more female than male athletes for the Games for the first time, it is fantastic to name three very strong and experienced female athletes within this team. The blend of returning Olympians and debutants is very exciting and we have no doubt that they will inspire a new generation of boys and girls from Tokyo this summer.”
GB Taekwondo Performance Director, Gary Hall said: “It is the largest number of athletes that we have ever qualified. With the Games in Rio we sent four in total, but this is the first time that we’ve had the entire group qualify via world rankings only.
“Within the team, we have three world champions (Bianca Walkden, Jade Jones and Bradly Sinden) along with two other fighters (Mahama Cho and Lauren Williams) who are currently ranked in the top six of the world and have significant medal success under their belts.
“It is an incredibly strong and experienced squad. Not only that, but we have a great staff and coaching team supporting them too.
“We’ve prepared the best we can, but still have more preparation to do. We have a brilliant plan for when we arrive in Tokyo with replica rings and we will be as best equipped as we can be.”
Great Britain Taekwondo team for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games:
Bradly Sinden (-68kg)
Mahama Cho (+80kg)
Jade Jones (-57kg)
Lauren Williams (-67kg)
Bianca Walkden (+67kg)