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All The President’s Men And Women

World Champion Bianca Walkden and rookie Ryan Marlow have contrasting ambitions when they compete at the inaugural President’s Cup starting in Bonn, Germany tomorrow. (Thursday)

Liverpudlian Walkden is keen to keep active with potential selection to Rio 2016 on the horizon while Marlow makes his senior tournament debut since joining the GB Academy through the productive Fighting Chance initiative.

And for all of the 13-strong Manchester based squad there is a chance to impress GB Performance Director, Gary Hall, ahead of next month’s European Championships in Switzerland.

“All players are looking to keep active,” confirmed Hall. “They have got to keep active, especially the ones with designs on the Olympic Games.

“Bianca wants to keep competing and putting into practice the things she is doing in training day by day.”

Two key absentees are Olympic champion, Jade Jones, and 2015 World Grand Prix Series winner, Lutalo Muhammad. Both are recovering from minor injuries and are expected to be selected for the German Open in Hamburg later this month.

So, there is a youthful flavour about the squad including 19-year-old, former kick boxer Marlow. “Ryan has been working really hard,” confirmed Hall. “He is going to give it his all and he will learn plenty from it.”

Originally designed to be a development tournament, the President’s Cup has since taken on extra significance as Hall explained.

“There are now automatic qualification spots for the senior Euros and the European Under 21s. So, it has attracted a big field.

“For us, we always stated three events to select the team for the Europeans: The Dutch Open, the President’s Cup and the German Open in a few week’s time.

“They are key tournaments to look at performances to make selection for the European Championships.” Walkden is one of four girls in a strong female squad including World Junior champion, Lauren Williams, European Games gold medallist, Charlie Maddock and Rachelle Booth, last season’s World Championship bronze medallist.

Squad and Schedule:


-68kg: Ben Haines (Portsmouth), Michael Harvey (Manchester), Anthony Stephenson (Bury)

-80kg: Levi Goodridge (Farnborough), Ryan Marlow, (Telford) Damon Sansum (Elgin)

+87kg: Mahama Cho (Stockwell), Lyle Walker (Law)


-53kg: Charlie Maddock (Stoke on Trent)

-62kg: Rachelle Booth (Wigan)

-67kg: Lauren Williams (Newport)

+73kg: Bianca Walkden (Liverpool)

Showing 2 comments
  • Tanya williams

    Good luck to all fighting this weekend 🙂

  • Unkle Dave !!!

    Good luck to those still fighting. Congratulations to Ryan on his debut , so nearly a great treble.

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