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Brits Vow To Bounce Back From World Championship Disappointment

Teammates Lauren Williams and Peter Longobardi-Radford were united in disappointment at the World Taekwondo Championships in Muju, South Korea.

Williams, the reigning European champion, and Longobardi-Radford, unbeaten in 2017, reached the quarter-finals of their respective weight divisions.

However, Williams, 18 from Newport, Gwent lost 31-22 against China’s Mengyu Zhang at -67kg.

And Longobardi-Radford from Rye suffered at the hands and feet of another Asian ace, Yu-Jen Huang of Chinese Taipei.

Welsh wonder girl Williams was in tears at the end of her last eight match, losing in a final flurry of points towards the end of the last round. “I am very disappointed. I came to Korea expecting to do really well and to lose in the quarter-finals is not good enough for me. I put too much pressure on myself to win.

“But taekwondo is a sport of fine margins and today I am on the wrong side of those margins.

“However, I know with time I will get over this disappointment and come back even stronger. I am only 18, this was my first World Championship and I will learn the lesson-as harsh as it seems at the moment.” added Williams who squeezed through her last 16 bout against Greece’s Athanasia Mitsopoulou on golden point.

Longobardi-Radford hoped to emulate or better Martin Stamper’s bronze at the 2011 World Championships.

And after a sluggish start to overcome Turkey’s Ferhat Can Kavurat 18-11, he appeared to be in his best form, knocking out Arven Al Cantara from the Philippines 22-8 and Moroccan Faical Saidi 19-4.

However, a short rest gap between his third and fourth matches hampered his performance against little known teenager, Huang.

“I was very tired going into the fourth match because I had only just finished my previous fight about 10 minutes earlier,” he confirmed.

“I had never fought him before so I didn’t know anything about him.

“This time he beat me, the next time he is not going to beat me.

“All champions lose but they bounce back. And I am sure I will bounce back.”

Reigning champion, Bianca Walkden, and Max Cater are GB Taekwondo’s next two stars in action on Tuesday.

“I have fought in the Korean Open before but this is going to be a lot better standard,” said Cater competing at -58kg.

“I have done well so far this year, including a gold medal at the German Open, so I am happy with my form.

“I made my World Championship debut in Russia two years ago but I am more experienced this time and know what to expect.”

“No British fighter has ever won back-to-back titles so I want to be the first to do that,” said world champion Walkden.

“There’s less pressure, as I’ve won it in the past, but I’ve been dreaming of the symbol I would make with my hands if I do the double so it’s definitely a motivation.”

All semi-final and finals will be shown on the BBC red button, Connected TV and the BBC Sport website from 11am-12.30pm.

*London’s Copper Box Arena is hosting the World Taekwondo Grand Prix from October 20-22. Tickets are now on sale via http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/taekwondo


Tuesday June 27
(W-53kg, W+73kg and M-58kg prelims) – Bianca Walkden & Max Cater

Wednesday June 28
(W-73kg, M-87 and M+87kg prelims) – Jade Slavin, Lutalo Muhammad & Mahama Cho

(W-53kg, W+73kg and M-58kg FINALS) – Bianca Walkden & Max Cater

Thursday June 29
(W-57kg and M-63kg prelims) – Jade Jones & Bradly Sinden

(W-73kg, M-87 and M+87kg FINALS) – Jade Slavin, Lutalo Muhammad & Mahama Cho

Friday June 30
(W-62kg and M-80kg prelims & FINALS) – Rachelle Booth, Damon Sansum

(W-57kg and M-63kg FINALS) – Jade Jones & Bradly Sinden

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