Beth Munro Celebrates ‘Surreal’ Olympics Selection As Matt Bush Targets Tokyo Glory

Beth Munro, Matt Bush and Amy Truesdale will compete in first ever Para Taekwondo at a Para Games in Tokyo.

Beth Munro Celebrates ‘Surreal’ Olympics Selection As Matt Bush Targets Tokyo Glory

By Ian Gordon

Beth Munro will make her Para Olympics debut in Tokyo – after only taking up Taekwondo in 2019.

Munro will be joined by fellow Welsh para ace Matt Bush as part of a three strong GB team with Amy Truesdale.

Munro – in her first ever international Para Taekwondo tournament – and Bush booked their tickets to Tokyo after winning the European qualification tournament in Bulgaria earlier this month with their selection confirmed on Tuesday along with Truesdale who had already booked her place.

“It’s still slightly surreal that I’m going to be competing in Tokyo, especially considering I’ve only been training with the team for twelve weeks in total,” said Munro.

:”’m so honoured and proud to represent my country – it’s like I need to be pinched to know it’s really happening,” said Munro.

“I’ve definitely surprised everyone in my family. Just two years ago I was going for my doctorate and now I will be a Paralympian, they’re all so pleased for me. It’s great to have them behind me, even if they can’t be there in person.”

Munro – a Cardiff-based Liverpudlian with a Welsh mother – is a former javelin thrower and netball player who only took up taekwondo 18 months ago.

The 27-year-old was talent-spotted by Disability Sport Wales, who also recommended Bush to the Manchester-based, GB squad.

Rookie taekwondo star Beth Munro only took up the para sport 18 months ago. Pic: GB Taekwondo.

Bush, who won world gold in 2019, is delighted now to be able to focus solely on competing in Tokyo in three months’ time.

The 32-year-old from St Clears said: “It feels good to finally focus on Tokyo, knowing that I’m going rather than just hoping or dealing with tournaments being postponed. It’s great to definitely have a target set now.

“Before lockdown I had a few niggles here or there and I feel like with everything being delayed, it’s actually worked out better for me. I can’t wait to get out there now and show everyone our sport.”

ParalympicsGB Chef de Mission Penny Briscoe said: “Para taekwondo is a fantastic addition to the Paralympic movement and to the summer Games programme and I’m absolutely delighted that Amy, Matt and Beth will be part of history as the sport makes its Games debut in Tokyo.

“All three athletes have shown great resilience and determination to get to where they are today and are undoubtedly an asset to the ParalympicsGB team.

Pembrokeshire’s Matt Bush was the first Brit to strike gold at the World Para Taekwondo Championships

GB Taekwondo Performance Director Gary Hall believes the trio will rise to the occasion as Para taekwondo – alongside Para badminton – joins the other 20 sports that will be contested at Tokyo 2020.

“This last year has been really challenging for everyone. The whole team including the athletes, coaches and support staff have worked really hard to maintain their individual targets.

They’ve sought margins where they can and have grown a lot during this time. The athletes have prepared, despite the unpredictable circumstances and are now ready for what will be a historic games.”

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