Youth Olympic bronze for Fighting Chance's Christian McNeish
Published 20 August 2014
Less than a year after taking up taekwondo, 17-year-old Christian McNeish has won a bronze medal for Team GB at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing.
The former junior kickboxing world champion successfully switched sports in 2013 after being identified through the UK Sport Talent ID campaign Fighting Chance: Battle4Brazil.
Competing in the -63kg category, McNeish won through his quarter-final against Russia's Soso Kvartskhava, 19-10, to set up a semi-final clash with current junior world champion Edival Marques Quirino Pontes of Brazil.
Despite a brave showing, McNeish went down 12-6 to the eventual champion, earning a bronze medal in his first season as a taekwondo athlete.
Reflecting after his fight, he said: "It's been great learning a new sport, meeting new people and making a name for myself. I'll take it step by step and then hopefully I can achieve greatness."
Head of Performance Pathways at UK Sport Natalie Dunman said: “We offer our congratulations to Christian and the whole team at GB Taekwondo on this achievement at the Youth Olympic Games.
“The multiple success stories of the athletes recruited through the Fighting Chance programmes highlight the value of continually pushing boundaries in the identification and development of sporting talent.”
Earlier in the event, GB’s Abigail Stones also won a bronze medal. She defeated Eman Aladaileh of Jordan 5-2 in her opening fight and led Ceren Ozbek going into the final round of their -44kg semi-final. However, the Azerbaijan teenager recovered to win 3-2 before losing 2-1 against Chinese Taipei's, Chen-Yu Wang in the final.
Fighting Chance: Battle4Brazil was a nationwide search for talented male and female athletes across all weight categories and follows the 2009 Fighting Chance programme that discovered London 2012 Olympic taekwondo bronze medallist Lutalo Muhammad and recent Sweden Open gold medallist Damon Sansum, a former world kickboxing champion.
Find out more about UK Sport's Talent ID work.