(Reuters) – Jade Jones is determined to retain her Olympic title in Brazil after being named in Britain’s four-athlete taekwondo squad for the 2016 Rio Games, announced on Wednesday.
The 23-year-old, who became the first Briton to win Olympic gold in taekwondo, will be joined by world champion Bianca Walkden (+67kg), Olympic bronze medalist Lutalo Muhammad (-80kg) and Mahama Cho (+80kg).
“I’m going to Rio for gold,” Jones, who will compete in the -57kg category, was quoted as saying by British media.
“I’ll be leaving everything on the mat and I want to be the best which makes me hungrier than ever and determined to succeed.
“Overall my preparation for the Games is going really well and things are coming together at the right time.”
European champion Walkden, 24, who missed the 2012 London games due to injury, said she was eagerly anticipating making her Olympic debut in the Aug. 5-21 Games.
“I can’t wait to get there now and take the chance to live my dream,” she told British media.
“My journey to Rio has been a roller coaster, so it’s amazing to be selected, and winning at the Olympics would mean everything to me.”
Ivory Coast-born Cho echoed his team mates’ thoughts, adding that missing out on selection for the last Games spurred him on to achieve greater heights.
“As with any path to success there will always be tribulations,” the heavyweight said.
“Getting gold in Rio will be the cherry on top of the cake for me and something I’ve envisaged since I was a child.”
(Reporting by Nivedita Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)