Sam Cana is no stranger to international competition but the Welsh youngster takes a step into the unknown when he next represents Great Britain.
The 19-year-old has won World and European medals in kumite karate but has now transferred over to GB Taekwondo’s World Class Performance programme based at the National Taekwondo Centre.
He recently moved up from South Wales to the North West of England but has yet to make his debut for the successful Manchester-based squad.
When he does take to the mat the qualified electrician will hope to become a bright spark at -80kg, one of eight Olympic weight categories.
Previously a member of the KenBuKan club in Swansea, he makes the martial arts switch having been Cadet World Kumite champion in 2014 and Junior World silver medallist four years ago.
— GB Taekwondo 🇬🇧 (@GBTaekwondo) March 7, 2019
“It feels a bit surreal to be honest,” said Sam of his new sporting pathway.
“Six months ago, I had no idea this was even possible. Now, I have an amazing opportunity in front of me and I can’t wait to get started.”
Sam was initially found via GB Taekwondo’s Talent Scout and has visited the National Taekwondo Centre several times for taster sessions. He was struck by the competitive nature of his new teammates.
“The most memorable thing for me is the atmosphere and energy that is created by everyone in training.
“It’s impossible not to be motivated for a training session when you have such talented athletes working so hard right beside you.”
And while lacking taekwondo experience Sam isn’t short on confidence or ambition.
“My ultimate goal is to get the gold medal at the Paris 2024 Olympics,” he explained.
“It’s an ambitious goal but if you don’t aim high you will never achieve your full potential. “
And it wasn’t only Sam celebrating when GB Performance Director, Gary Hall, confirmed the new arrival.
“My family were extremely pleased for me because they know how hard I have trained over the years. They are proud of me for what I have achieved.”
*GB Taekwondo are offering all athletes (both male and female) the chance to submit their interest in any opportunities the World Class Performance Programme may offer.
If you are Interested, please complete the following form which applies to you: