Can the world number one complete ‘the set’ in Tokyo?
TAEKWONDO will be one of two new Paralympic sports when the Tokyo Games ‘kick’ off next year.
And that gives GB Taekwondo star Amy Truesdale the perfect opportunity to add a Paralympic gold medal to her impressive collection.
Having won world titles in 2014 and 2017, she is determined to complete the set with victory on the biggest stage of all. Amy missed out on a third world crown earlier this year when she was defeated in the quarter-finals of the +58kg/K44 division.
However, she did confirm her Tokyo spot by claiming bronze at the recent European Para-Taekwondo Championships in Italy – and will end the year as world number one in an increasingly competitive class.
Amy, from Chester, also secured a confidence-boosting success at September’s Tokyo test event. Victories in her three fights at the Olympic taekwondo and para taekwondo venue should stand the 30-year-old in good stead for her return to Japan in 2020.
But before all that Amy took on another tricky challenge – Agility’s ‘Quick Five’ questions…
How has your year been? Amy: 2019 has gone well. I have medalled in four or five competitions and I have had some good performances.
Did you enjoy the Tokyo test event? Amy: I was really pleased to go to the test event. Everything was so organised and structured - the people were super friendly, and I felt relaxed for everything. It has allowed me to become familiar in the environment I will be fighting in. I feel a lot more confident after winning that event as I have a more realistic idea of what to expect in 2020. I was pleased my performances were really good. I keep thinking ‘I really hope the same thing happens next year’.
Is it difficult being the favourite for Paralympic gold? Amy: Being number one can bring some pressure as people expect you to do well. But I am using it as a positive. Being in this position shows I work hard and I am capable of great success.
Great to see taekwondo featuring in the 2020 Paralympics? Amy: I’m delighted para taekwondo is involved in the games. I’m so pleased its debut will be showcased in Tokyo. I’m hoping it with enthuse other people who have a disability into participating in sport.
What would Paralympic gold mean to you? Amy: It would mean the world to me. I have dedicated my life to taekwondo training, coaching and trying to inspire others. I have achieved every title possible so this is the biggest and last one left and I would love to win - and especially be the first female to do this.w