Jack Woolley, in blue, has been formally selected to represent Ireland at Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images

Taekwondo player Jack Woolley has become the second Irish athlete to be formally named to the country’s team for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

It will be the first time any taekwondo athlete has represented Ireland at the Games.

Woolley is among 54 Irish athletes and teams to earn quota spots for Tokyo 2020, but just the second one officially selected by the Olympic Federation of Ireland, after canoeist Liam Jegou.

Woolley was seventh in the men’s under-58-kilogram Olympic rankings - good enough to earn an automatic place at the Games, given South Korea can only send one athlete in the division.

"I’m very happy to be able to say I’ve been officially selected to compete for Team Ireland at the Olympic Games," said the 22-year-old.

"This has been something I have been working for over the past few years, and I’m going to Tokyo with the goal of getting on that podium.

"If I perform to my ability, anything can happen."

Among Woolley’s career highlights to date is a second-place finish at the G4 Extra European Taekwondo Championships in Bari in 2019, losing to home fighter Vito Dell'Aquila in the final.

Dell'Aquila will be among Woolley's rivals at Tokyo 2020.

Robert Taaffe, who coaches Woolley in Dublin and will be the Ireland's taekwondo team lead at the Olympics, added: "This is an historic moment for Irish taekwondo, Jack will be the first Irish taekwondo Olympian, and we are delighted to be in this privileged position.

"Many years of hard work and dedication has been invested and Jack goes to Tokyo as one of the top and most exciting athletes in his division.

"We are proud of Jack and his many years of focus and determination, not only for getting one step closer to his sporting goals, but for assisting to be such a positive role model and inspiration paving the way for the next generation of taekwondo enthusiasts in Ireland.”

Zhao Shuai won the under-58kg gold medal at Rio 2016, but will be fighting up a weight division at Tokyo 2020.

The under-58kg medals will be among the first awarded at this year’s Olympics and will be won on July 24, the day after the Opening Ceremony.