Paddington Academy duo celebrate international success in taekwondo
- Credit: Archant
Paddington Academy student Chloe O’Sullivan Healy has kicked her way to a gold medal at the Commonwealth Championships in Edinburgh, while former pupil Moatez Jomni has been invited to join the GB Paralympic team.
Competing for England at the Commonwealth Championships, 13-year-old O’Sullivan Healy – who attends the Maida Vale school – defeated her Australian rival in the Under-55kg final.
The taekwondo prodigy took up the martial art at a weekly after-school club and took just 20 months to earn a black belt before being invited to train with the GB Taekwondo Academy in Manchester at weekends.
Meanwhile Moatez Jomni, who competes in a wheelchair, has been selected to join the GB World Class Performance Programme.
The scheme supports athletes who have a strong chance of winning a medal at the next Paralympic Games at Rio in 2016 with training and funding.
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Taekwondo has increased in popularity in Britain in recent years after Jade Jones won the nation’s first gold medal in the sport at the London 2012 Olympics.
O’Sullivan Healy said: “I’m really proud that I could win a gold medal representing England.
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“I was very nervous and excited before my matches but the support and training from my school, taekwondo club and my mum carried me through.
“It was great to meet taekwondo students from across the Commonwealth and I hope to see them again in future competitions.”
Jomni said: “It makes me really happy to be chosen for the World Class Performance Programme – well done to everyone who got selected!
“Representing this great country is my proudest achievement and the team have been so welcoming and supportive. Let’s go and get gold medals!”