Beth Munro stormed to a sensational silver in just her second international competition to become ParalympicsGB’s very first medallist in taekwondo.
Munro took her place on the K44 -58kg podium after Denmark’s Lisa Gjessing’s experience proved to be the difference, winning all three rounds with a total scoreline of 32-14 in the gold-medal contest.
The 28-year-old Munro only took up para taekwondo in 2019 but her unfailing commitment and dedication to the sport in the months since paid dividends at her first Paralympics, progressing through the rounds with convincing wins.
Munro’s silver secured ParalympicsGB a medal in a 16th different sport at Tokyo 2020 – the first time the feat has been achieved by any nation in one single Games.
“The journey that I’ve been on has been so short so to come away with a silver medal as a Paralympian – I’m on cloud nine,” she said.
“I probably haven’t let it sink in until properly now. It’s been such a fast-paced journey. The fact I’ve won a medal, I’ve got goosebumps, the fact that I’m actually here.
“I’m very happy to be here and onwards and upwards to Paris in 2024.
“I’m a little bit disappointed with the outcome of the final.
“I probably let it get away from me in the first round and tried to play catch up the rest of the way, but I’m ecstatic with a silver.”
Munro enjoyed an unstoppable morning, overcoming Nepal’s Palesha Goverdhan 21-8 in the round of 16, before defeating Turkey’s Gamze Gurdal 34-22 in the last eight.
The Liverpudlian wasn’t done yet, seeing off Li Yujie 34-25 in the semi-finals at the start of the final session of the day, but faced her toughest contest against Gjessing for the gold medal in the K44 -58kg class.
A four-time world and three-time European champion, Gjessing was always going to be an incredibly challenging competitor for the ‘newbie’ Munro – but there is still more to come in Paris.
She added: “Lisa’s a fantastic athlete. She’s been doing it for years and having the privilege to come up against her and compete has been fantastic. Kudos for winning. She thoroughly deserved it.
“Next time – that’s all I can say. Today she came out on top so very well done for her and it’s fantastic.
“I’m happy with a silver medal and am targeting Paris 2024.”
Saturday will see Munro’s ParalympicsGB teammates Amy Truesdale and Joseph Lane attempt to match Munro’s podium success, with Truesdale in the K44 +58kg class, and Lane in the men’s K44 +75kg competition.
Courtesy of ParalympicsGB