Great Britain will field athletes in five taekwondo weight categories for the first time at Tokyo 2020 after Jade Jones and Mahama Cho shone at the Grand Slam Champions Series.
Cho roared to the +80kg final in Wuxi, China – beating reigning Olympic champion Radik Isaev in the quarters – to secure a fifth quota place for Team GB.
The 30-year-old settled for silver, beaten 3-1 by South Korea’s Kyo-Don In in the final, but did enough to seal a further spot alongside men’s -68kg and women’s -57kg, -67kg and +67kg.
“Not only am I delighted with securing five Olympic spots, but also the manner of performances along the way,” said performance director Gary Hall, who will lead May’s selection process.
“Two of our athletes are ranked number one in the world, another two are ranked second and we have three reigning world champions so I’m confident we will be taking our best-ever team to an Olympics.
“With qualifications now secured early, we can focus on best preparing the team in 2020.
“I’d like to thank all the athletes who have fought so strong and skilfully over and over again throughout the campaign, the coaching team for their fortitude, resilience and calmness in battle and to a brilliant support for those who continually seek for greater progress.”
Jones is world number one in -57kg and had already sealed a Tokyo berth through rankings, but impressed en route to the final in China.
The double Olympic champion needed just two rounds to dispose of USA’s Anastasija Zolotic in the quarter-final and was imperious in beating South Korea’s Ah-Reum Lee 2-0, 7-0 in her semi.
Jones dominated the early stages of her final bout with Lijun Zhou, taking the first round 7-0, but the home favourite battled back for a narrow victory.