As the 2020 Summer Olympic Games move ever closer, GB Taekwondo's Tokyo countdown has already begun. Thanks to their lofty world rankings, Jade Jones (-57kg), Lauren Williams (-67kg), Bianca Walkden (+67kg) and Bradley Sinden (-68kg) have already secured their Olympic berth, whilst Mahama Cho's recent Grandslam silver medal also secured a Men's heavyweight spot.
The final lineup won't be officially named by Team GB until May, with the heavyweight spot said to be a decision between Rio 2016 Silver medal winner Lutalo Muhammad and Cho.
GB Taekwondo’s Performance Director Gary Hall couldn't be happier with how things are going. He said:
“Not only am I delighted with securing five Olympic spots, but also the manner of performances along the way."
The elite performance lead is also confident of improving on 2016's medal haul, he added:
"Two of our athletes are ranked number one in the world and another two are ranked second. We have three reigning World Champions. Selection will take place in May 2020 and I’m confident we will be taking our best-ever team to an Olympics."
Heavyweight Mahama Cho lost to South Korea’s Kyo-Don In the +80kg final of the Wuxi Grand Slam, having defeated Olympic champion Radik Isaev of Azerbaijan at the Quarter Final stage. A performance that secured a fifth Team GB place for Tokyo 2020.
“I came out here with the hope of getting a qualification spot for GB,” runner up Cho told GB Taekwondo.
“It feels great to put down a performance that was good enough to do the job.
“Beating the likes of the reigning Olympic champion is not something everyone can say.
“I fought against him in the semi-final in Rio, he beat me and went onto win the Olympics but this year I had the upper hand."
Jade Jones and Bianca Walkden will both approach this summers Olympics as genuine medal hopefuls, and each finished 2019 with silver medals.
Image Source - GB Taekwondo