The road to Rio could start soon for over 450 hopefuls who have signed up to the nationwide search for future Olympic taekwondo stars with the potential to compete at the next Olympic Games.
Applications closed on Friday (18 Jan) for Fighting Chance: Battle4Brazil, a nationwide talent identification programme run in conjunction with UK Sport and the English Institute of Sport.
The programme was launched in November 2012 by GB Taekwondo athletes including Olympic champion Jade Jones and bronze medallist Lutalo Muhammad, who came through the first Fighting Chance campaign in 2009-10.
GB Taekwondo and the UK Talent Team will now review each of the applications before inviting those who meet the criteria to the first phase of assessments. With attendance strictly by invitation only, these events, taking place on 23-24 February and 2-3 March in Manchester, will put the hopefuls through their paces under the watchful eye of World Class coaches and sport scientists.
One of those who will be on hand is Senior Talent Scientist for the UK Talent Team Ian Yates.
He said: “With such a high volume of applicants, we are confident that we can uncover some real talent over the course of this campaign. We know from running the first edition of Fighting Chance, when we discovered the likes of Lutalo Muhammad and Damon Sansum, that there are some seriously talented martial artists out there who, given the chance, could succeed at the very highest level in the Olympic WTF style of taekwondo.
“We will be looking for athletes who can transfer their technical, tactical, physical and mental skills into a new code. After a series of assessments, those we feel have the potential to do this will be asked to join the GB Taekwondo Academy and embark on the journey to Rio 2016.”
Fighting Chance: Battle4Brazil is aimed at high achieving 16-26 year old male and female combat athletes from all kick based martial arts who believe they are capable of transferring to Olympic Taekwondo (WTF style) and making an impact on the medal table in 2016.
Applicants will be informed by Monday 28 January 2013 if they have been successful in reaching the first round of testing.