GB Taekwondo are seeking new Para-taekwondo athletes for Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028 ©GB Taekwondo

GB Taekwondo has launched a new talent search for Para-athletes, as it looks to scope out potential stars ahead of the Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028 Paralympics.

Launching the initiative on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, particularly focusing on those with a background in kickboxing, karate, South Korean martial art tang soo do, muay thai and thai boxing.

Talent scout Derek Morgan stated that it was essential for athletes to have a "strong motivation" to fight and enjoy a combat environment.

Applicants must be at least 14 years old and possess an ability to meet the K43 and K44 classifications.

These include athletes with unilateral arm amputation - or equivalent loss of function - or the loss of toes which impact the ability to lift the heel.

Successful candidates will either operate at the men's 61 kilogram, 75kg or +75kg; or the women's 49kg, 58kg or +58kg.

Matt Bush is looking to become the first British man to win world Para-taekwondo gold ©World Taekwondo
Matt Bush is looking to become the first British man to win world Para-taekwondo gold ©World Taekwondo

One of the success stories of this programme is Matt Bush, who previously was a talented shot putter and javelin thrower before switching sport.

He also had moderate success in Japanese and Brazilian jiu-jitsu before joining the GB Para Taekwondo set-up in 2017.

Bush now looks to become the first British man to win gold at the World Para Taekwondo Championships and qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.

"I was doing javelin and had an injury which ruled me out qualifying for the Rio Olympics in 2016," said Bush.

"Through Sport Wales, I heard taekwondo was going to join the Paralympic movement and because it was similar to the other martial arts I had done, they brought me up for a trial at GB Taekwondo.

"To win the world title after coming into the sport late was a fantastic achievement.

"But I am sure there are many other talented athletes who would love taekwondo and can be as equally successful."

Para-taekwondo is one of two new Paralympic sports at Tokyo 2020 alongside Para-badminton.