Olympics: I was honoured to take part, says Doncaster’s taekwondo champ Sarah Stevenson

Beaten but not bowed: Sarah Stevenson was hampered by a knee injury. Picture: PA WIRE
Beaten but not bowed: Sarah Stevenson was hampered by a knee injury. Picture: PA WIRE
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SARAH Stevenson says competing at the Olympics in London was an honour despite losing in the first round of the taekwondo competition.

A knee injury earlier this year meant that Stevenson, from Doncaster, missed a large part of her preparations.

However, after her 5-1 defeat against America’s Paige McPherson she said there was no regrets.

“It was a massive, massive honour. I got to read the oath at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games and I got to compete in the Olympics,” she said. “I wanted to come and do my best and have no regrets and I think I did well and I’m happy with how I performed.

“I didn’t know how good I would be, neither did anybody else, so the thing was to just come here and do my best.”

Stevenson has had more than her fair share of tragedy in the past 18 months. Her father, Roy, died from a brain tumour in July 2011 and her mother, Diane, lost her battle to cancer in November.

Stevenson was selected to represent Team GB at London 2012 earlier this year.

Her career has also been blighted by injury. In February this year, she damaged her knee during training and had to undergo ligament surgery. “I went out there really focused, I wanted to win, I wanted to be here, I wanted to fight, but it does put it into perspective,” she said.

“This is meant to be fun, this is the Olympics, this is not life and death, and you should be here to have fun, go for it and give everything, and that’s what I did.”

Stevenson entered the Olympics knowing she may not be at her best but determined to put on a show. She said: “My close family and friends and 20 people we organised tickets for, they all had their flags and their T-shirts, If I lost first, or if I won, they were proud of me no matter what.”

With husband Steve Jennings also the Team GB coach, Stevenson’s future will almost certainly include taekwondo.

However she said she has more pressing concerns: “Holiday, rest, time with my family, and just see where my future lies, whether that’s in taekwondo I don’t know.I’m just going to see what options I’ve got.”