GB Taekwondo aim for record Olympic gold medal total at Tokyo 2020

Jade Jones
Jade Jones (right) defended her Olympic title at Rio 2016

Britain's taekwondo athletes can achieve a record Olympic medal total at Tokyo 2020, team performance director Gary Hall says.

The team won five medals at June's World Championship in South Korea, Britain's highest total at the event.

GB's best Olympic performance came at Rio 2016, when a squad of four athletes secured three medals.

"We want the maximum of eight athletes in Rio and the target is four golds," Hall told BBC Sport.

Bianca Walkden secured gold and Mahama Cho silver, while there were bronze medals for Jade Jones, Damon Sansum and 18-year-old Bradly Sinden at the World Championships in Muju last month.

Bianca Walkden
Bianca Walkden became world champion in South Korea

There were also encouraging performances from teenagers Lauren Williams - a two-time world junior champion - and Max Cater.

"We have an exciting crop of young talent coming through, but also the old guard who are still at the top of their sport and will continue to be through to Tokyo 2020," said Hall.

The performance of Sinden, who was inspired by fellow Doncaster fighter and former world champion Sarah Stevenson, was a particular highlight for Britain.

He only joined the senior national programme 11 months ago and was making his World Championship debut.

"He's an exceptional talent with an incredible workrate and real fight brain who will continue to get stronger," said Hall.

"Bradly was disappointed with bronze and that's always a good sign."

Hall credits much of the success to the "world-class" support team in place at the team's headquarters in Manchester.

"You have to have exceptional talent in terms of the athletes, but then you have to have exceptional people to support that," he told BBC Sport.

"We have one of the world's best coaching teams, and the world's best support team, and when it all comes together, it's just outstanding."

The next major focus for Britain's fighters will be the World Taekwondo Grand Prix series, which begins in Moscow from 4-6 August, with the UK leg taking place in London from 20-22 October.

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