World In Motion As Barnes Wins Chelyabinsk Call-Up
Georgia Barnes has been drafted into GB Taekwondo’s World Championship squad to complete, a notable few days for the Southampton born fighter.
The celebrations from winning a -53kg bronze medal at the Moldova Open in Chisinau had only just subsided when the 19-year-old received further good news.
Ipswich prospect Nicole Huntington was originally named in the 14-strong squad to compete in Chelyabinsk, Russia from May 12-18.
However, the 2015 Luxor Open bronze medallist has now been forced to withdraw giving Barnes a welcome break.
“It will be the most important tournament of my career and a big step-up” said the 2013 European Junior champion, again set to move up from her more accustomed weight of -49kg.
“The girls are obviously stronger but it’s a good challenge. And I feel strong as well. So, I am really excited and can’t wait to get to Russia.”
On her performance in Moldova Barnes added:”The focus wasn’t on winning medals but trying to reach our personal targets. I did that and got a medal out of it as well so I’ve got to be pleased.”
Hatice Kubra Yangin, Turkey’s 25-year-old double former European gold medallist and 2011 World runner-up, ended Barnes’ interest in the tournament.
“It was touch and go in the first couple of rounds,” explained the Hampshire youngster after a 12-6 semi-final defeat. “In the last round though she managed to get a few more points ahead.
“I had watched her fight but never fought her so I have learned things I can put into practice next time.” Yangin went on to finish with the silver medal, beaten by rising compatriot, Fatma Saridogan.
Saridogan, the 17-year-old reigning Youth Olympic Games runner-up, also defeated Barnes’ team mate, Charlie Maddock from Stoke on Trent, in the quarter-finals. Britain’s remaining competitor, Welsh teenager Lauren Williams, lost her opening contest.
However, Britain’s leading para-taekwondo star, Amy Truesdale, retained her European Para title in the Moldovan capital. The Chester based World and Commonwealth champion defeated Turkey’s Kadriye Turget 13-7 in the semi-finals of the +58kg event before beating Turget’s compatriot, Gamze Gurdai, 22-13 in the final.
Taekwondo will make its debut at the Paralympics in Tokyo 2020.