When Beth Munro stepped onto the mat for the Tokyo Paralympics, she was making just her second appearance in international competition just two years after taking up the sport of Taekwondo. 

Undeterred, she made it all the way to the final of the K44 –58kg category, taking second place and a silver medal back home to Liverpool. 

Now, with many more bouts and a European gold medal to her name, Munro’s preparation for the Paris Games is looking slightly different. She’s familiar with some of her competitors and more knowledgeable about the sport itself. 

“Prep’s going really,” she told Merseysportlive. “Training as usual, digging deep, grit, determination. 

“We’ve got Europeans in three weeks over in Serbia, so that will be a good stepping stone, coming up against competitors that will be in Paris”. 

Beth Munro lays down her aims for Paris 2024

Reflecting on her position ahead of Paris compared to the Covid-affected run-up to Tokyo, Munro – who was born with an arm impairment – outlined the new pressures that come with her improved experience and expectations. 

“It’s been different in regard to I’ve gained more experience, more knowledge of the sport.

“People have been saying, ‘Has it put more pressure on you? Three years down the line is it expected to get gold?’. 

“Obviously, I’m aiming for gold and I’m so competitive that that’s what I want to get.  


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“But all I can do is on the day, go out and do my best and put all of the controllables in place and control them and try to mitigate any of the external things that come in and could potentially derail me. 

“I’m just riding the wave at the moment… I’m world number one so I’ve got some accolades behind me. Going into Paris at world number one, there is a massive difference, so I’m just excited”. 

There is inevitably added pressure as the highest rank para-taekwondo athlete in her category. Conversely, Munro is more skilled and experienced that at any point in her career thus far.  

“[My] technical, tactical ability has gotten so much better. Also just understanding the opponent.  

“[I] went into Tokyo not really knowing anyone, so having come up against the the girls in the past three years, I now can potentially know certain kicks they do, some strengths and weaknesses that they have”. 

With under 130 days to go until Taekwondo begins at Paris 2024, there is some intense final training to undergo before Munro faces those opponents. One strength for her is her vastly developed experience; one caveat is that the expectations are higher. Perhaps that pressure will fuel even better performances. 

Featured image credit – Paralympics GB/imagecomms.