Doncaster’s taekwondo queen Sarah Stevenson has decided to retire completely from the sport.
Stevenson, 32, is leaving her job as Britain’s first female high performance taekwondo coach to devote more time to her nine-month old daughter Elsie-Diana.
The four-time Olympian and Britain’s first ever World and Olympic medallist moved into coaching at the GB Academy after she ended her competitive career in the sport almost three years ago.
“I want to be the best mum I can be,” said Stevenson.
“Retiring from competitive sport was a million times easier than this decision. This decision ended something I have done all my life and it was the hardest one I have ever made.
“It’s not the job, it’s just the travelling distance involved between Liverpool and the Academy in Manchester,” she added.
“If I have my mind on Elsie in Liverpool, I don’t think I am giving everything to the sport or everything to my baby. And anyone who knows me, knows if I do something, I do it with everything I have got.
“So, if I have to make a choice then Elsie comes first. But I am genuinely disappointed to be leaving. There are so many exciting things happening with the junior programme and at the elite level of our sport. That’s what makes it even harder.”
Stevenson became the first ever British taekwondo player to win an Olympic medal by claiming bronze in Beijing in 2008.
She read the Olympics oath at London 2012 and was awarded an MBE that same year for her services to martial arts.