Doncaster's Bradly Sinden named in Team GB's taekwondo squad for Tokyo Olympics

World champion Bradly Sinden is hoping Tokyo 2020 will be a family affair as he goes in search of yet more history.

Wednesday, 2nd June 2021, 6:00 am
Doncaster's Bradly Sinden, pictured at Team GB's taekwondo team announcement for the Tokyo Olympic Games. Photo: Alex Livesey/Getty Images for British Olympic Association

The 22-year-old from Doncaster, who became Britain’s first ever male world champion at the 2019 World Taekwondo Championships, has been officially named in Team GB’s taekwondo line-up for the Games alongside double Olympic champion Jade Jones, Bianca Walkden, Mahama Cho and Lauren Williams.

But while the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has meant that all international fans have been banned from travelling, Sinden could receive a bit more home support than most as his sister Jodie could yet join him in Japan as a taekwondo referee.

Jodie, who actually got her brother’s career going when Bradly was dragged along to her taekwondo sessions as a four-year-old, is still waiting to find out whether she will make the final cut of referees.

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Team GB's taekwondo Olympic team: Bradly Sinden, Bianca Walkden, Mahama Cho, Jade Jones and Lauren Williams. Photo: Alex Livesey/Getty Images for British Olympic Association

The news has thrilled her superstar brother who could have another source of inspiration when he goes for gold in the -68kg category.

“I think my mum will just be jealous. She’d rather be out there!” said Sinden, who is one of over 1,000 athletes on UK Sport’s National Lottery-funded World Class Programme.

“It’ll be great, it’ll make mum so proud with one of us on either side. Since a young age we’ve all taken to taekwondo as a family, my sister didn’t like fighting but she really liked the technical side.”

Not that Sinden will need the added incentive, as he aims to become the first GB man to claim an Olympic gold in the sport this summer.

The man dubbed ‘Mr Consistent’ has had a rapid rise in the sport, winning his first major senior medal at the 2017 World Championships aged just 18 before beating defending champion Lee Dae-hoon and Spain’s Javier Perez Polo en route to a brilliant world title two years later.

After all that, who would bet against him achieving the feat in Tokyo? He certainly wouldn’t.

“It gives me massive confidence. It’s one of the hardest events so to win that in 2019 was amazing,” added Sinden, who will be hoping to add to the 864 Olympic and Paralympic medals won by Great Britain and Northern Ireland athletes since the advent of National Lottery funding in 1997.

“It just showed me that I belong at the world level, that I am up there and it gives me confidence that if I put everything on the line there’s no reason why I shouldn’t come home with a gold medal.”

Sinden benefits hugely from UK Sport’s National Lottery-funded World Class Programme which allows him to train full-time, access the world’s best coaches and benefit from pioneering technology, science and medical support.

The South Yorkshire hotshot is aiming to follow in the footsteps of his idol Sarah Stevenson, who won GB’s first ever taekwondo Olympic medal in Beijing.

Sinden acknowledges just how crucial the support of The National Lottery has been for his journey and added: “Without the National Lottery we wouldn’t be here.

“There’s so many people that can’t support themselves to do sport full-time.

“With sports like this you need money to get the system, get the physios - being a full-contact sport and having Bupa as a healthcare service as well as the belief in us to get the results is massive.”

No one does more to support our Olympic and Paralympic athletes than National Lottery players, who raise around £30 million each week for good causes. Discover the positive impact playing the National Lottery has on sport at www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk and get involved by using the hashtags: #TNLAthletes #TracktoTokyo