Great Britain Taekwondo star Christian McNeish in great form ahead of European Championships in Kazan
PUBLISHED: 13:30 17 April 2018
The Plaistow-born athlete, who attended St Bonaventure's School, was praised by GB Performance Director after his recent selection
GB Taekwondo has announced a squad of 16 for the European Championships taking place in Kazan, Russia next month (May 10-13) including three athletes who won gold medals at the last event in 2016.
The Manchester trained team also includes its newest world champion, Scottish teenager, Jordyn Smith, winner of the Junior title in Tunisia last week.
“In most categories it was one of the easier selections we have had,” explained GB Performance Director, Gary Hall.
“We have had some outstanding performances in some very strong categories. So, it is good when it is like that.
“The likes of Christian McNeish has won five gold medals in a row while Bianca Walkden hasn’t lost for so long.
“These athletes are winning and winning big so it does make selection decisions easier.”
GB Taekwondo claimed four medals in 2016 including golden success for double Olympic champion Jade Jones, double World champion, Walkden, and Welsh star, Lauren Williams.
“It is a talented team all with their own goals and objectives,” added Hall. “We are really looking forward to the challenge ahead.”
Alongside the front-line stars will be the likes of 17-year-old Jordyn (-46kg, women), Maddison Moore (-49kg, women) and Mason Yarrow (-54kg men).
There’s also an opportunity for Norfolk strong man Jack Spall deputising for Rio Olympian Mahama Cho currently on the comeback trail from injury.
“We took Jordyn on the World Class Performance programme a couple of months ago,” explained Hall. “Obviously, we don’t know yet if her junior success will transfer into being as successful as a senior.
“But we believe in giving young athletes a chance, and seeing what they have and how they rise to challenge.
“Jordyn and Mason, I am sure are going to take their opportunities with both hands.
“Cho is sad to miss out because he was having a great season. But he has undergone the right level of treatment and we expect to see him back later on in the year.
“However, it is a great opportunity for young Jack to come in and put down a performance.”
-54kg: Mason Yarrow (Doncaster)
-58kg: Hassan Haider (Falkirk)
-63kg: Bradly Sinden (Doncaster)
-68kg: Christian McNeish (Plaistow)
-74kg: Peter Longobardi-Radford (Rye)
-80kg Damon Sansum (Elgin)
-87kg: Lutalo Muhammad (Walthamstow)
+87kg: Jack Spall (Attleborough)
-46kg: Jordyn Smith (Carronshore)
-49kg: Maddison Moore (Blakedown)
-57kg: Jade Jones (Flint)
-62kg: Rachelle Booth (Wigan)
-67kg: Lauren Williams (Newport, Gwent)
-73kg: Jade Slavin (Consett)
+73kg Bianca Walkden (Liverpool)