GREECE IS THE WORD FOR EUROPEAN STAR LAUREN
But she knows there will be more scrutiny on her performances when competing as part of a four-strong GB Taekwondo squad at the Greek Open tomorrow. (Saturday)
Williams returns to competition after becoming European champion in Switzerland less than three weeks ago.
It was a stunning performance by the new Welsh girl on the Taekwondo mat, culminating in victory over Turkey’s London 2012 silver medallist, Nur Tatar.
“I am a bit more nervous because there is added pressure after the Euros,” admits Williams, again fighting in the -67kg weight division.
“But it is only my third competition back so I am not putting pressure on myself. I am just going to use the tournament as extra sparring, try a few new things and see what happens,” explains the former kick boxing champion.
“However, there is an Australian girl (2013, world champion, Carmen Marton) who is highly seeded so I would like to come up against her just to see who is doing well in the weight.”
Manchester trained team mate, Charlie Maddock, is also out to impress when she competes at -53kg. The Stoke on Trent based, 2015 European Games gold medallist won the German Open earlier this year but suffered an early exit at last month’s Europeans.
“Since I got back from Switzerland I have been back in the gym, working on my targets,” says Maddock, nicknamed ‘Mad Dog’. “I felt strong as a fighter and I did everything I could with my tactics. But I made a few mistakes and I need to work on those.
“There is always something you can work on,” added the 20-year-old. “But I just want to go out to Greece and enjoy the competition.”
The squad is completed by Max Cater and Josh Calland, both competed at last weekend’s Austrian Open. Cater, who achieved a bronze fights at -58kg while Calland steps up to -63kg.
Saturday, June 11
-58kg: Max Cater (Southampton)
-63kg: Josh Calland (Liverpool)
-53kg: Charlie Maddock (Stoke on Trent)
-67kg: Lauren Williams (Newport, Gwent)