Rio 2016: Jade Jones & Lutalo Muhammad in GB Olympic taekwondo squad

By Nick HopeBBC Olympic sports reporter
Jade Jones
Jade Jones beat China's Yuzhuo Hou to win the gold medal in the women's -57kg category at London 2012

London 2012 champion Jade Jones is targeting a defence of her Olympic crown after being named in Great Britain's taekwondo squad for Rio 2016.

The -57kg world number one has won a World Grand Prix and two European titles since her success in 2012.

Jones is joined by world champion Bianca Walkden (+67kg), Olympic bronze medallist Lutalo Muhammad (-80kg) and heavyweight Mahama Cho (+80kg).

"I'm going to Rio for gold," said Jones, from Flint in north Wales.

"I'll be leaving everything on the mat and I want to be the best which makes me hungrier than ever and determined to succeed."

Unlike at London 2012 - when the build-up to the taekwondo competition was overshadowed by the controversial omission of then world number one Aaron Cook - this time around selection has been more straightforward.

Muhammad - who was chosen ahead of Cook in 2012 - again had to overcome a strong GB opponent in world silver medallist Damon Sansum.

However, he avoided a drawn-out appeals process following strong performances over the past year.

"In hindsight London 2012 was a bonus for me, but the end goal remains the same - to win gold," said the London-born fighter.

"Rio 2016 in particular means a lot to me and my dad because we worked out years ago that I would be in my prime now and ready to take gold."

Walkden will be making her Olympic debut in Rio and her selection completes an unlikely reversal in fortunes for the fighter who missed out on a place at London 2012 following a cruciate knee ligament injury in the build-up.

She suffered a second ACL injury at the end of 2014, but defied the expectations of medical experts by returning to the sport within months and claiming her maiden world title last year.

"I can't wait to get there now and take the chance to live my dream," she said.

"My journey to Rio has been a rollercoaster, so it's amazing to be selected, and winning at the Olympics would mean everything to me."

Four years ago, Ivory Coast-born Cho was considering a life away from taekwondo having missing out on London 2012 selection.

He briefly competed for France after moving to Paris to study, but was enticed back to the GB programme in early 2014 and earned Rio selection by winning the European Olympic qualification tournament earlier this year.

"As with any path to success there will always be tribulations," he said.

"Getting gold in Rio will be the cherry on top of the cake for me and something I've envisaged since I was a child."

Jones battles to taekwondo gold