- Associated Press - Saturday, July 15, 2017

STURGIS, S.D. (AP) - A two-time Olympian from western South Dakota says a more relaxed attitude helped her win silver at the 2017 World Taekwondo Championships in Korea.

Paige McPherson won the medal in the women’s 67-kilogram division. The medal was her second career world championship medal to go along with the bronze she captured in 2015, the Black Hills Pioneer (https://bit.ly/2us8A23 ) reported.

“The game plan is always to win gold, but honestly in my mind I was just there to basically make it as normal as possible,” she said. “Getting back from Rio (2016 Summer Olympics) and not getting the results I wanted, I kind of tried to not make it such a big important tournament like I did at the Olympics. I listened to my coach and went out there and proved myself, proved my worth and I was able to go all the way to the finals.”

McPherson said she tries not to put added pressure on herself to do well at the world championships.

“Throughout the day I tried to make it seem like a small open. I just wanted to make it feel normal,” she said. “Again I’ve been in these situations so many times that I didn’t want to put pressure on myself. I just wanted to go out there and prove that I belong there.”

She also said she has a lot of respect for Turkey’s Nur Tatar who won against her 6-4 in the finals.

The Sturgis-native says she’s still up in the air as to whether she’ll compete at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Future plans include competing in grand prix series starting August.


Information from: Black Hills Pioneer, https://www.bhpioneer.com

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