There was a heart-warming surprise for Team GB’s Bradly Sinden today - as the Taekwondo silver medallist got a virtual visit from his mother.
Simmons was with Reshmin Chowdhury in Eurosport’s extended reality Cube Studio to discuss his agonising 68kg final defeat to Uzbekistan’s Ulugbek Rashitov, when Sheryl was drafted in via Zoom to tell her son how proud she was of his efforts.
“He’s been absolutely amazing,” she said.
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“From being that tiny little overactive child and getting involved in Taekwondo…everything he’s done has been amazing.
“We’ve always been proud of him, we’d always knew he’d do something special someday.”
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A world champion in 2019, Bradly had been discussing the sacrifices Sheryl had made for him before her guest appearance.
Having been invited to train with Team GB as often as he wanted in July 2016, his mum moved her work shifts around to drive her son to twice-weekly sessions in Manchester.
Sinden said: “Without her I’m not here today. Putting the money on the line, sending me to comps, paying for me to go to comps [competitions].
“She believed in what I could do and wanted me to achieve my goals so without her this silver medal around my neck, the world gold medal wouldn’t be here today.”
He also reflected on the pain of falling at the final hurdle, having been just 10 seconds from glory before Rashitov clinched gold at the death.
Sinden revealed he had an hours-long debrief with his coach in the early hours of the morning following the fight, putting his journey into context.
The 22-year-old said: “We spoke for hours, talking about what I’ve achieved in this last five years since becoming a full-time athlete.
“It’s only been 24 hours so I’ve still got that disappointment, it’s still raw emotions.
You’ve got to applaud the Uzbekistan player from picking up on that mistake and scoring but I think it was my fight to lose in the end. It’s gut-wrenching, being so close to your dreams but when I look back on it…I had a great performance in the Olympics, especially coming back from being down in my semi-final.
“Securing GB’s first medal was a great achievement and I’m happy with myself to do that."
With the Paris Games in 2024, Sinden will have the opportunity to go one better on his second attempt.
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