GIRL POWER LEADS TO GOLDEN GERMAN HAT-TRICK FOR GB FIGHTERS IN HAMBURG
Golden girls Jade Jones, Bianca Walkden and Charlie Maddock delivered German Open titles for GB Taekwondo in Hamburg tonight.
And an excellent weekend for the Manchester trained squad also included a first ever senior medal for Croydon’s Feyi Pearce in the -58kg weight division.
But it was girl power that came to the fore on super Sunday led by comeback star, Jones.
And she gained one of her easiest -57kg titles after Hungarian born, Canadian rival, Ivett Gonda, withdrew from the final due to injury. Belgium’s Raheleh Asemani was dismissed 14-2 in the semi-finals.
Jones’ housemate and friend, Bianca Walkden, maintained her brilliant start to 2016 by adding the German prize to her recent successes at the Dutch Open and President’s Cup.
The Liverpudlian born heavyweight whitewashed Dominican Republic’s Katherine Rodriquez 4-0 in the final of the +73kg competition
Potteries power house Maddock completed the golden hat-trick in apt fashion, edging out Zeliha Agris of Turkey on golden point in the -53kg division.
The trio will now hope to repeat their successes at next month’s European Championships with Jones and Walkden looking further ahead to this summer’s Olympics depending on selection in June.
“I was a bit nervous before my first fight,” said 23-year-old Jones after her first competition of the year. “But I loved being back and was buzzing.”
Wednesday marks the 100-day countdown to the Rio Games withdraw the Olympic flame already lit. “It just feels you are running out of time,” added the London 2012 champion. “But we are ready for it.”
Walkden has yet to make her Olympic debut but having qualified the +73kg spot she is optimistic about getting the final nod.
“I am improving and hopefully I can keep going for the rest of the year.,” said Walkden. “Fingers crossed I can keep it going and stay calm.
“I just hope I don’t take it (the Games) too big and instead just treat it like any other competition.”
Maddock and Pearce must wait for the next Olympic cycle to make their mark but they will be contenders for the European Championships. Pearce defeated triple European champion Levent Tuncat of Germany in the quarter-finals and suffered an agonising 8-7 semi-final defeat against Amir Mohammad Hosseini.
“Bronze wasn’t in my plan but it feels like a stepping stone to the next competition,” said the 19-year-old. “Hopefully, I have done enough to be on the plane to Switzerland for the Euros.”