Olympics chance for Reed
Viv ThomasMartial arts ace Tom Reed, from Attleborough, has got a shot at being selected for the London Olympics in 2012.He has been called for the first round of trials as selectors try and build a taekwondo squad for the Games.Viv Thomas
Martial arts ace Tom Reed, from Attleborough, has got a shot at being selected for the London Olympics in 2012.
He has been called for the first round of trials as selectors try and build a taekwondo squad for the Games.
Selectors opened the trials process up to people of a high standard from different martial arts backgrounds to have a go at cross-training and see if they could make the Olympic team.
Reed, who trains at Loggers Gym in Attleborough and UEA Sportspark in Norwich, applied online for the Talent 2012 Fighting Chance and was accepted.
'It's quite a big opportunity,' he said. 'There were a thousand applicants and only ten percent were accepted. They are trying everything they can to mix the teams to get the best results - when you get to a high level, styles are similar and fighting is similar.
'I am pretty ecstatic, to say the least. It's a brilliant opportunity to help take me to the next level.'
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The 20-year-old was a comparatively late starter in martial arts, taking up the sport at the age of 16, but quickly picked it up and showed great potential and won silver and bronze medals in the European Championships in 2007.
He now has a black belt in kickboxing, a brown black belt in kuk sool won and has fought muay thai and semi pro mixed martial arts (MMA) bouts.
He is just about to embark on the first step of a five-part assessment process for Olympics selection, starting with a Talent Day later this month which looks at a player's decision-making abilities, suppleness, flexibility and general fighting ability.
Other assessments will follow, if successful, including a trip to Korea where taekwondo is the national sport. If accepted for Team GB, martial artists will be paid full time.
At the moment the former Wymondham College student works as a doorman and runs his own fitness business to enable him to put in the necessary hours of training - five hours a day.
He is sponsored by Loggers Gym in Attleborough and sports massage therapist Daniel Horslen, but is keen to hear from anyone else also willing to aid his Olympic quest.
Anyone interested should contact Tom via email at firstname.lastname@example.org