21 May 2024

Taekwondo athletes officially selected for Paris

21 May 2024

Australian Taekwondo and the Combat Institute of Australia welcome today's announcement of the athletes selected for Australia’s Olympic Team for the Paris Olympic Games.

Stacey Hymer, Bailey Lewis, and Leon Sejranovic, will represent their country after Australian Olympic Team Chef de Mission Anna Meares announced the trio's official selection today in Melbourne.

"Congratulations to Stacey, Leon and Bailey on their selection to the Australian Olympic team for Paris," Meares said.

"It's fitting to celebrate today's Olympic milestone here at the National Performance Centre – where the athletes work tirelessly day in and day out, away from the bright lights, to hone their craft and chase their Olympic dream."

"When they enter the incredible arena at Paris' Grand Palais, it will be due to all the work put in right here with their coaches, teammates and support staff."

"Thank you to Australian Taekwondo, CombatAUS and the Victorian Institute of Sport for your ongoing support of these athletes to achieve their Olympic selection."

Hymer, a seasoned competitor in the 57kg division, is set to make her second appearance at the Games, while Lewis (58kg) and Sejranovic (80kg) eagerly prepare for their Olympic debuts in Paris.

“It feels amazing to be selected for my second Olympic Games and to call myself a dual Olympian means the world to me,” Hymer said. 

“I can't wait to tell everyone and show the world once again who I am and what I can bring to the mats."

“My goal for Paris is to win the first two fights and make it to the semi-finals. After that, I know I have put in the hard yards to get there, and I will have full confidence in myself and in my team." 

“My main focus is to stay positive and calm and to keep enjoying training. Training is really tough at the moment, so focusing on my recovery and clear mindset is really my top priority.”

Twenty-one-year-old Sejranovic said being selected for the Australian Olympic Team was an honour.

"It just feels so incredible to achieve what has been a dream of mine since I started Taekwondo. To see all my hard work and dedication towards the sport I love pay off makes this whole journey worth it."

"I'm still not satisfied until I show what I am capable of on the world's biggest stage. My goal for Paris is the same as it is for every competition I fight in and that is to win gold."

"Leading into the Olympics I want to get my body in peak physical condition - I want to be stronger and fitter than anyone that I come up against in Paris."

While Twenty-six-year-old Lewis was thrilled to make his Olympic debut.

“It’s so exciting, I've worked so hard for so long to have this opportunity to represent my country at the Games,” he said. “I want to inspire the next generation by putting on a great performance and taking home a gold medal.”

Hymer, Sejranovic, and Lewis are all Australian and Oceania champions. Last year, Sejranovic ended Australia's decade-long Taekwondo World Championships medal drought by winning bronze in the 74kg division. Lewis then claimed back-to-back bronze Paris Grand Prix medals. 

Australian Taekwondo CEO Josh O’Brien welcomed today’s announcement.

“Australian Taekwondo congratulates Stacey, Bailey, and Leon on their Olympic selection,” O’Brien said. 

“The dedication and sacrifices all three athletes have made to earn their place on Australia’s Olympic Team has been immense and an inspiration to those aspiring to be Olympians." 

“We recognise the fantastic work of National Coach, Seokhun Lee, who has worked tirelessly to nurture, develop, and prepare these athletes on their journey to Paris. We are incredibly proud and, along with all Taekwondo sport fans, eagerly await the games to commence.”

Behind each athlete stands a supportive club network and dedicated home coaches who have been crucial to their development and training on the journey to becoming Australia's next Olympians. The efforts of those at City West Taekwondo and Notorious are also recognised and applauded.

CombatAUS CEO Alex Vallentine congratulated the athletes.

“We’re incredibly proud, in partnership with Australian Taekwondo, to see these athletes selected to the Australian Olympic team for Paris 2024,” he said. “Three incredibly talented and experienced athletes, all with genuine medal potential.”

All three athletes are part of CombatAUS' taekwondo program and Victorian Institute of Sport (VIS) scholarship holders. VIS CEO Anne Marie Harrison is delighted to see three scholarship holders selected for Paris. 

"Congratulations to Bailey, Leon and Stacey on qualifying and being selected for Paris.  For the Victorian Institute of Sport to see three Victorians qualify is particularly significant, but also to see the success of our new partnership program with Combat Aus is satisfying."

"Bailey first came onto scholarship in 2020 as an individual scholarship holder, Leon as a Future Talent athlete in 2021 and Stacey as a program scholarship athlete in 2022. This cycle marks the transition of the sport being supported as a program with embedded performance support staff as we strive to provide the athletes with a world-class training environment. "

"It’s great to see all the hard work culminate with the athletes securing their place on the team, and I wish them every success in Paris."

Those selected earned a quota for Australia by winning the continental qualifying event in the Solomon Islands earlier this year. 

The Paris 2024 taekwondo competition will be held at the Grand Palais des Champs-Élysées from Wednesday, August 7 to Saturday, August 10.

We acknowledge that our office is spread across many traditional lands, and we pay respect to all traditional owners of these lands and elders past and present.