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Jack Woolley trying to enjoy the process ahead of Paris Olympic Games after disappointing experience in Tokyo

Ireland's first Olympic taekwondo competitor Jack Woolley is determined to enjoy the experience in Paris.

Woolley, who firmly placed himself in the picture for a medal at the Tokyo 2020 Games was left devastated after losing his opening bout in the 58kg division.

Woolley booked his ticket to Paris in Bulgaria in March of this year at the European qualifying event.

This time around, he explains, it feels different: "The lead up to Tokyo was a bit strange as we couldn't be in contact with loads of people. I actually moved my training partner into my house to train during Covid in preparation for Tokyo.

"Now it's a bit more open. Being able to travel for competitions and training camps, I feel like preparation has gone better, and I feel a lot more relaxed now. I'm enjoying the process."

Tokyo seemed a lonely experience for many athletes, but Woolley has great support for Paris.

Sparring partners are an important part of taekwondo and Woolley is hoping for better results with the help of his support team. Training partner Leroy Dilandu is currently nursing an injury, but continues to show up for Woolley.

"My sparring partner Leroy is always there for me," said Woolley. "He is one of the most injured athletes, but his attitude never dips.

"He might not be able to kick 100% but he is always there to hold pads and motivate me."

The Tallaght man's goals have not changed: his aspiration of winning Ireland's first taekwondo medal was cemented by his win over the defending Olympic champion Vito Dell'Aquila last year.

"My goal is the same as it was going into Tokyo," he said. "Realistically I know anyone in that division can come away with the gold medal.

"The Olympic champion from Tokyo, I actually beat last year, so I know when I'm on form