"The girl I fight: I've fought her a lot of times, and I beat her every time, but it always goes to the wire. I didn't want this to be the time where she just beat me, so I felt a lot of pressure going into it. In the end, I thought, you know, I'm just going to give it everything and see what I can do."
Jade Jones took the gold medal in the women's -57kg at the Rio Olympics, representing her home team of Great Britain in taekwondo sparring. Increased pressure on the day of the tournament is something a lot of athletes face. Proper preparation both mentally and physically can help buffer this. Having a strong support network helps too.
"I went up against this really tough opponent. I was behind with 20 seconds to go, and he picked me off as I went in. The first two rounds were really close. I ended the second round, going into the third round, at a tied score of 8-8. It was very close up until the last 20 seconds, where he got two points and the score went up to 11-9, which meant I had to chase. Then, he just picked me off towards the end. My opponent ended up getting a silver medal, so who knows what could have happened."
Jacob Barnett competes at an international level, representing his home team of Great Britain in taekwondo sparring. He is most known for his video logs which tend to cater to a teenage audience.
"After a victory at Abidjan Grand Prix final, I felt really happy and quite emotional actually. I didn't expect that I'd be this emotional until I got back home. I found it difficult actually- I found the whole day quite difficult. I had really good opponents, and they were really trying to beat me. They put a lot of pressure on me, and I wasn't doing that well today as myself. They pushed me to the limit. It was really good competition, with really good fights, and hopefully I can just go out and do even better."
Bianca Walkden represented her home team of Great Britain (UK) in international taekwondo sparring competition. She competes at events such as the WTF Grand Prix and the WTF Grand Slam.
Copyrighted website design, all rights reserved.