Ahead of the European Taekwondo Championships in Russia next week, we caught up with one of GB's top female competitors. 25 year old Jade Slavin is among the country's current top medal hopes.
6ft 3in Jade is a part time model, but a full time martial artist. She's previously won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Championships, and has a range of medals from across the Opens circuit, most notably winning the Dutch Open in 2017.
We caught up with Jade to find out her targets for the European competition and beyond.
"Talent is important but it takes a lot of hard work and training. Nobody is just born with it."
MAO - Firstly, congratulations on your selection in the GB Taekwondo squad for the upcoming European Championships.
JS - Thank you! It’s always an honour to be selected to represent your country in any sport. I’m very grateful for the opportunity.
MAO - Do you have a target in mind for the championships?
JS - We have specific fighting targets for each and every competition that we want to try. I’m just going to focus on committing to my own objectives in each fight. The overall target or goal is to achieve a medal and hopefully it’s a Gold one!
MAO - You must be really looking forward to getting to Russia and competing?
JS - Yes I can't wait! I’ve actually been to Russia before but never Kazan so I’m excited to see what it’s like. To be honest I am itching to get back in the ring again
MAO - Do you think you can emulate the global success of your teammates Bianca Walkden and Jade Jones?
JS - I don’t see why not. I need to focus on my own goals. It’s more of a psychological thing with me, I just need to believe I can do it and the rest will follow.
MAO - How do you find training with Olympic and World champions like Bianca and Jade?
JS - It’s really beneficial for me because I’m training with the best in the world. Hopefully one day, if I can achieve my goals, somebody will be saying the same about me.
MAO - You've tasted international success in your own right, what does it take to make it to the top of your sport?
JS - Obviously natural talent is very important but it takes a lot of hard work and training. Nobody is just born with it. We all have to work really hard to get to where we are and keep working to improve every session.
MAO - What are your long term goals in Taekwondo?
JS - I’d love to medal at a major competition such as the World Championships or upcoming Europeans. I’ve came close a couple times, losing in the quarterfinal so hopefully I can one day win that title.
MAO - Talk us through a day in the life of Jade Slavin, what's it like to be a full time athlete in martial arts?
JS - It’s a very demanding and tiring job. It might not seem much to train 4-6 hours a day but in them sessions it literally takes everything out of you. Then you have to do all the recovery strategies to make sure you're ready for the next day. It's also important to eat the right foods daily so you're fully refuelled and ready to continue training hard.
MAO - Changing the subject to something which effects all martial arts and athletes, exposure and sponsorship can be hard to come by, do you think there is anything that can be done to change this?
JS - I think in terms of Taekwondo, the sport is definitely growing and becoming more and more popular. With this, hopefully more companies will be interested in working with us and providing us with any support that they can. Having a helping hand in terms or sporting equipment or supplements is always going to benefit us and be extremely appreciated. If companies understand that even small gestures of support make such a difference, they may be more willing to help in any way, big or small.
MAO - Thank you Jade for taking the time to talk to martialarts-online, and best of luck for the European championships next week, we'll be routing for you!
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