‘I’ll Be Back’ Vows Walkden After European Games Exit
World champion Bianca Walkden was left “devastated” by her early exit from the European Games with no golden finish to Great Britain’s Baku campaign.
But the Liverpool born heavyweight has vowed to bounce back in the World Grand Prix series later in the year.
There was disappointment also for fellow heavyweight, Mahama Cho, beaten 10-5 in his opening bout by Greek rival, Konstantinos Gkoltsios.
“I don’t want this feeling again, it is horrible,” said Walkden after her quarter-final exit against Ukrainian rival, Maryna Konieva.
“It’s not a shock but it is disappointing,” she admitted. “But I really wanted to win and I should have done better.”
Walkden had hoped to be inspired by Charlie Maddock and Olympic champion Jade Jones who both struck gold earlier in the week.
However, it was a struggle from the start and the popular fighter almost lost in her opening bout. However, from 5-1 down she fought back to beat Turkey’s Furkan Aydin 7-6 virtue of golden point.
Walkden probably knew it wouldn’t be her day when she was awarded a three-point head shot against Konieva only to have it erased because it hadn’t registered on the electronic scoring system.
Konieva grew in confidence to lead 7-1 and 9-3 only for Walkden to show the form that brought a world title in Chelyabinsk last month. Back-to-back head shots brought her into contention before forcing Konieva out of the ring to achieve extra time.
But there were no more reprieves and Walkden eventually missed out 14-13.. “She (Konieva) seemed to get a point from everything I tried to do,” said the frustrated Brit.
“I was getting caught too easily too many times to the body and I need to step up my game for next time.
“Charlie and Jade did amazing and I wish I could have backed that up and get three golds. But it wasn’t to be.”
Cho also made a slow start and found himself 5-1 down going into the last, He closed the gap with two punches but Gkoltsios stayed in control and counter attacked his way into the last eight.
“I will continue to work hard and see what I need to do for the next phase of the year,” said Cho. “I felt good going into the match. But as soon as I went a couple of points behind I was confused about what I needed to do to get the points back.”
Round One: lost 10-5 to Konstantinos Gkoltsios (Greece)
Round One: bt Furkin Aydin (Turkey), 7-6 golden point
Quarter final: lost 14-13 on golden point to Maryna Konieva (Ukraine)