GREECE LIGHTNING-WELSH WONDER WILLIAMS WINS AGAIN
Lauren Williams struck gold again as GB Taekwondo fighters completed a full house of medals at the Greece Open in Salonica.
In her first outing since becoming European champion last month, the 17-year-old Welsh starlet defeated Germany’s Vanessa Koerndl 22-12 to win the -67kg title.
Team mates, Josh Calland (-63kg silver), Charlie Maddock (-53kg silver) and Max Cater (-58kg bronze) also finished on the podium.
But it was Williams who caught the eye once more. She dropped only six points reaching the final, claiming the scalp of Australia’s 2013 world champion, Carmen Marton, in the penultimate round.
“I didn’t go out there just to get gold,” insisted the Gwent raised prospect. “I went out to try new kicks and techniques so to get a medal was a bonus.
“I didn’t play to my strengths because I was doing new things so win by 12 points gap against Marton was a major plus.”
The former World Junior Champion, who has fought only three times as a senior, is unlikely to compete again now until the autumn. And she’s delighted to go into her competitive break on a high.
“I feel like I have faced all the top seeds now so it can’t get much better,” she said. “I just have to keep building on my game.”
European Games gold medallist, Maddock, faced Serbian opposition three times in her competition. But after wins over Ivana Cujic, Vanja Stankovic plus Germany’s Julie Ronkers, she lost against Tijana Bogdanovic in the final.
Maddock defeated Bogdanovic 10-9 to strike her Games gold 12 months ago in Baku but the recently crowned European champion turned the tables this time with a 7-5 victory.
Calland fought five times in his weight class including an impressive 9-1 semi-final success over Bogdanovic’s compatriot, Nikola Vuckovic. However, the final against Belgian’s reigning world champion, Jaouad Achab, proved a match too many for the 17-year-old from Liverpool, beaten 8-1.
London born Cater, a bronze medallist at the previous tournament in Austria, added another bronze, losing 12-1 in his semi-final to another current world title holder, Iran’s Farzan Ashourzadeh.
QF: Beat Kaloyan Binev BUL 7-5
SF: Lost to Farzan Ashourzadeh Fallah IRI 1-12 BRONZE
1st Round: Beat Sevastianos Anastasiadis GRE 17-5
2nd Round: Beat Ioannis Pilavakis CYP 14-9
QF: Beat Will Afonczenko AUS 8-3
SF: Beat Nikola Vuckovic SRB 9-1
F: Lost to Jaouad Achab BEL 8-1 SILVER
1st Round: Beat Ivana Cujic SRB 10-2
QF: Beat Julia Ronken GER 16-5
SF: Beat Vanja Stankovic SRB 7-5
F: Lost to Tijana Bogdanovic SRB 5-7 SILVER
QF: Beat Nicole Men AUS 12-2
SF: Beat Carmen Marton AUS 16-4
F: Beat Vanessa Koerndl GER 22-12 GOLD