The 23-year-old was eight seconds away from claiming Britain’s first Olympic taekwondo title when his opponent Ulugbev Rashitov of Uzbekistan swiped him in the head and The follow-up of the body hit him. Sinden fell on the mat, heartbroken, and his Olympic gold medal dreams shattered. Silver is no consolation.
“I was after the gold medal, so the final emotion was disappointment,” recalls Sinden nine months later.
That silver medal quickly became his driving force — “to win gold in Paris” — but there was also growing pride in what he had accomplished and what he hoped that Olympic medal would mean.
“Most people watch us at the Olympics and they see how intense the game is, you win a second, you lose a second, and how quickly a game can change,” he said.
“It was electric. Especially in my fights, there was never a dull moment. Taekwondo became so spectacular at the Olympics and everyone was texting me saying ‘it’s my favorite sport, we’ll do it next time’ When can I see it?'”
Well, for those excited investigators, here’s the answer – later this month, the European Taekwondo Championships will take place at the Manchester Regional Arena from May 19-22.
“For those of you watching the Olympics on TV, now is your time to support us and feel that feeling in real life,” urged Sinden.
“It’s nice to see it on TV, but when you’re there and the crowd is screaming and yelling, it just takes it to the next level.
“That’s why I’m very happy that we can get Europeans into our own backyard.
“This is to make as many people as possible realize that we are here and that taekwondo is a sport to watch.”
The four-day European Championships will take a similar format to the World Championships played in the same arena three years ago and end on a more exhilarating Sinden.
Back then, the 20-year-old first tried the sport at the age of four, when he was dragged to his sister’s class to be crowned world champion in front of his hometown fans.
He told the Yorkshire Post: “Fighting in front of a home crowd is a great experience, a prestigious event like the World Championships is another.”
“It was a great atmosphere and everyone involved turned it into a great show, the best fight I’ve ever experienced as a fighter and a fan.
“On top of that, the popularity of the sport at the Olympics is huge because there is no competition in the world with as big a crowd. We can’t wait to get our friends and family back and get home-field advantage at the European Championships .”
Sinden will compete in the 68kg category on Saturday (21st). At the Olympics, each heavyweight fight takes a day, but in Manchester, athletes can fight for two days the longer they stay in the competition.
“The Olympics is one link, but in Europe it’s a hall, not just Olympic athletes, we also have disabled athletes competing, and it’s the first time that it’s fully integrated. So the fans will be cheering for the whole team.
“We train together, so it’s time to play together.
“Going back to Worlds 2019, in the Grand Finals, they took the rest of the field and used it as a playing field. How they did it, it’s amazing.
“It was pitch black, the crowd was lit up in your colors, and you saw how crowded it was, and it made me feel like I needed to perform here.”
Sinden certainly did it at the World Championships, and with those champions coming, the road to Paris is tougher, and he hopes to do it again.
“For me, it’s the performance, not the medal, that matters,” Sinden said.
“If I put performance in the reward, a game will come and impose my A-game on my opponent.”
Competition: In an exclusive opportunity, we can offer one lucky reader the chance to win a family ticket (2 adults and 2 children 16 and under) to watch Bradley and the rest of GB kickboxing and para kickboxing Stars compete at the European Taekwondo Championships. You’ll get a family ticket and stay overnight in Manchester to watch the tournament on Saturday 21st May and Sunday 22nd May. Tickets will entitle you to all four conferences over the weekend, with accommodation including breakfast at the Holiday Inn Manchester Central or Manchester Park Hotel, provided by the event’s official accommodation partner, CSE.
1. The draw is open to UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man residents aged 18 or over only and does not include employees of the Promoter, their immediate family members and anyone else professionally connected to the draw.
2. To enter the sweepstakes, you must send an email [email protected] Under the topic title Taekwondo Competition and answer this simple question: Which medal did Bradley Sinden win at the Tokyo Olympics?
3. Entries must be received by the Yorkshire Post by 5pm on Thursday 12th May. Any entries received after this time will not be considered and will be void.
4. Sweepstakes are free to enter, but data charges from your network operator and internet service provider may apply.
5. The draw will produce a winner.
6. The winner will receive 1 x Family Pass* for 2 days to the European Taekwondo Championships. The family pass includes 2 adults and 2 children 16 years and younger. The pass will provide admission to 2 matches (preliminaries and finals) per day for 2 days. The prize also includes an overnight stay in a family room at the Holiday Inn Manchester Centre or Manchester Park Hotel, including breakfast (provided by Official Accommodation Partner CSE)
7. The European Taekwondo Championships will be held from 19 to 22 May 2022. This award is only valid for that event. It cannot be transferred to another event/date and will not provide an alternative.
Winner selection and contact details
8. Winners will be selected at random from all entries received by the stated deadline through a closed computer-generated system. We will make the final overall decision on winner selection, which is final. No communication will take place.
9. Winners will be contacted by email by Friday, May 13th.
10. If you are the winner, you will have 7 days to claim your prize. If you do not reply within this period, you may lose your prize. We reserve the right to award the prize to another winner if we are unable to contact you on the platform on which you entered the sweepstakes.
11. In the event of any dispute over any negligence, misunderstanding, error or dispute over these terms and conditions, conduct, results or the operation of the contest, including the correctness or acceptability of any answer given by the winner, or any operating technique/communication system, our decision is final.
12. Taekwondo UK is the sponsor and provider of the sweepstakes. Our registered office is at Manchester Regional Arena, Rowsley Street, Manchester, England, M11 3FF.If you have any questions or concerns about the sweepstakes, please contact [email protected]
13. These terms and conditions are governed by the laws of England and Wales and are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.
Tickets: For tournament tickets, visit https://www.seetickets.com/tour/european-taekwondo-championships-2022