IN the last of our ‘Doncaster Olympians of the future’ series, Free Press Sport profiles up-and-coming Taekwondo star Niall Gibson.
Name: Niall Gibson
Team: Scorpion Taekwondo
Coach: Pete Adamsons
Ranking: 3rd in Britain
Occupation: Biomedical sciences student at Sheffield Hallam University
Honours: Gold - British Championships: cadet ‘06, junior ‘09; British International A-Class: ‘09; Creti International Cup: ‘10; Belgian International A-Class: ‘10; Dutch Masters: ‘08, ‘11.
Silver - Commonwealth Championships: ‘11; British Championships: junior ‘07, junior ‘10, senior ‘10; Swedish International A-Class: ‘10; Dutch International A-Class: ‘10.
Bronze - British Championships: senior ‘11; British International A-Class: ‘10; Dutch Masters: ‘11.
Career highlight: Winning silver in the Dutch Open A-Class in 2010 just two days after returning from representing Britain in Mexico at the Junior World Championships. It was a tough competition but a great achievement.
Career lowlight: I broke my foot in training close to a major international competition, hindering my preparation for this event. However I still managed to achieve a bronze medal, even with a broken foot.
Ambition in sport: To represent Britain at the 2016 Olympics.
Biggest influence on your sporting career: My mother and sister.
Sorting hero: Mark Lopez and Servet Tazegul, who will both be at the Olympics this year.
Are you going to London 2012: I will be watching the Taekwondo and Paralympic athletics. I’ll also be working at the Paralympics.
One thing you cannot live without: My personal assistant – my sister – as she organises my training schedule, competitions and fundraising.
Current training schedule: I train four times a week at my club along with additional training at home such as running and weights. I also attend regular physio and strength and conditioning sessions at university.
Interests and hobbies: I enjoy reading.
Advice for youngsters involved in sport: Make sure to work hard but most of all enjoy participating in all aspects of that sport.
Life after sport? I would like a career in biomedical science as well as opening my own Taekwondo club to train the next generation.
Favourite film: Battle Royale
Favourite food: Noodles
Favourite music: Green Day