Rookie fighter Beth Munro celebrated her first-ever international para taekwondo competition by becoming one of three GB Taekwondo fighters to qualify spots at this summer’s Tokyo Paralympic Games.
The Liverpudlian newcomer will be joined in Japan by world champion, Matt Bush and world number one, Amy Truesdale.
Munro, a former javelin thrower who only became a full-time taekwondo athlete earlier this year, was a convincing winner of the K44, -58kg weight division at the European Qualification tournament in Bulgaria.
Welsh star Bush also struck gold in the K44, +75kg category while Truesdale, who didn’t travel to Sofia, had already qualified a place at K44, +58kg by virtue of her world ranking.
Londoner Joe Lane went close to ensuring a full house of four places. However, in the final of the K44, -75kg class, he missed out to Azerbaijan’s Abulfaz Abuzarli after a close and high scoring finale.
“I still feel like I am in a dream world,” said the 27-year-old talent-spotted by Disability Sport Wales who also recommended Matt Bush to the Manchester-based, GB squad.
“This is an achievement in itself but the aim is a medal in Tokyo. I don’t know what colour,” smiled the one-time netball player who has overcome her disability in her work and sporting career.
“I have to admit I didn’t know there was a para taekwondo team. But it is a fantastic sport and doesn’t get the recognition it deserves,” she said after her 68-6 final win against Italian Sara Enea.
Heavyweight Bush, who won his world crown in 2019, defeated Roman Ivaniuk of Ukraine 38-2 in his semi-final before landing a 28-1 victory over Hungary’s Zoltan Kiss in the final.
(L2R) Andrew Deer High Performance Coach with: Matt Bush, Joe Lane and Beth Munro.