Former Loughborough College and Doncaster College student prepares to launch London 2012 assault
9 August 2012
Former Loughborough College and Doncaster College student Sarah Stevenson finally gets her London 2012 Olympic Games campaign underway on Friday in taekwondo’s -67kg welterweight category.
The reigning world champion at the weight, Stevenson is hoping to improve on her bronze medal performance in Beijing in 2008, and should she achieve that, it will be a remarkable story of triumph over adversity.
The 29-year-old has overcome numerous hurdles in the past year, including the death of both of her parents and a cruciate ligament injury that threatened her chances of competing at London 2012.
Loughborough College Principal Jim Mutton said: “Everyone knows something of what Sarah has already been through with the death of both her parents through cancer last year.
“Meeting people like Sarah Stevenson and finding out about their determination and just how far they are prepared to go to succeed is a source of inspiration for me.”
The taekwondo competition is a gruelling event over one day, meaning Stevenson will have to win four contests to take home her first Olympic gold medal, and she is in action at 10.30am with her opening fight against USA’s Paige McPherson.
She has been seeded in the opposite half of the draw from the gold medal favourite Hwang Kyung-Seon. Stevenson has no reason to fear the Korean though, as she beat her in the semi-finals on the way to victory in last year’s World Championships.
Having taken an A-Level in Sports Studies at Doncaster College, she then moved on to Loughborough College where she is now an ambassador for the Flames: Lighting the Way programme that the College runs in conjunction with the British Heart Foundation to help children and young people be more active.
Stevenson was rewarded for her dedication to taekwondo as she was given the honour of reading the competitors oath at the Opening Ceremony of the Games. Since then she has kept away from the hubbub of London and has been completing her preparations at the College.
Chris McGeorge, the Elite Sport Education and Welfare Officer at Loughborough College said: “It is unfair to presume she will get a medal as she has had such a difficult road to London 2012, but she goes into the -67kg category with very high hopes.
“We’ve followed Sarah’s highs and lows over the last 18 months and are keeping our fingers crossed it will all come right for her.”
By Christopher Finch
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