Rising 6ft 9in taekwondo star selected to represent Team GB at world championships
PUBLISHED: 11:23 07 May 2018 | UPDATED: 11:21 11 May 2018
A 20-year-old heavyweight athlete from Norfolk has been selected to represent Team GB in Russia this year.
Man-to-watch Jack Spall, from Attleborough, is one of the world’s tallest martial artists at 6ft 9in and is progressing within his sport in leaps and bounds.
Mr Spall currently lives in Manchester at the Team GB Taekwondo camp. In April Team GB sent the athletes to a training camp for two weeks in South Korea to prepare for the upcoming World Taekwondo Europe (WTE) Championships in Russia, for which Mr Spall has been selected.
The championships will take place in the Russian city of Kazan from May 10 to 13.
Mr Spall said: “Korea was a truly exciting time. I trained against some of the best heavyweights in World Taekwondo with my excellent coaches and rehab team. I learnt so much and I felt I matured even more as fighter.
“European selection is one stage closer for me to fulfil my ambition of becoming an Olympian.
“As one of the tallest fighters in the world I constantly have to watch my training regime with great care to prevent injury. Every day I become fitter and stronger.
“All I want to do now is give everything I have in the Euros and get to the podium. Being a G4 tournament there are a lot of points on offer, so I need to smash this.
G rankings indicate the importance of a tournament. The Olympics have a G20 ranking.
This year Mr Spall fought Nigerian Olympic silver medallist and WTE champion Abdoul Issoufou twice in open tournaments, once in France and the other in Turkey.
Mr Spall lost both matches, the first 15-4 and the second 11-7 - but has still managed to reach 106th in the World Kyorugi Ranking in the male heavyweight category.
Mr Spall said: “This last year has been incredible. Everything I have trained for has arrived - the last two tournaments for me to reach the podium and medal also earning more valuable ranking points.
“So many people have believed in me and I will do everything to make them proud of me. I still have to pinch myself on a daily basis to think I am so lucky to be a part of Team GB.
“My journey is a long one from here but step by step I will overcome every obstacle until I achieve my goal.”