Bianca faces French test in first tournament appearance since Tokyo 2020
13th November 2021
Bianca Walkden returns to action this weekend for the first time since winning a bronze medal at Tokyo 2020.
The three-time world champion and fellow Olympic Games medallist, Lauren Williams, are part of a youthful 11-strong GB Taekwondo squad fighting at the French Open in Paris today. (Saturday)
Williams made her first appearance of the new Olympic cycle by winning gold at last month’s Dutch Open.
However, Liverpudlian Walkden hasn’t competed since taking the second Olympic medal of her career in Japan last July.
Both girls have eyes on the main prize which is gold at next year’s World Championship.
So, Walkden, 30, isn’t putting too much pressure on herself as she bids for a fourth French Open title but her first since 2013.
“I am a little bit nervous but excited at the same time,” she said. “When I get there, I will always try and switch to fight mode and give the best I can to get gold.
“But to be honest it is just the first tournament back. So, I am taking it step-by-step and slowly building it back up.
“Training is going well but I am still at the start of preparation, and it is all leading up to the World Championships which are my main goal next April.
“They are the most important thing for me because it is a big chance to become the first-ever female to get four in a row.
“But I am not going to take it (tournament) lightly. I want to have the best preparation I can.
“I have started now so hopefully I am on the right path and can I build towards that main goal and gold in April.”
-54kg: Josh Long (Spennymoor)
-58kg: Mo Nour (Roehampton)
-87kg: Caden Cunningham (Huddersfield)
-49kg: Maisie Hockey (Biddenham, Bedford)
-49kg: Jordyn Smith (Carronshore)
-49kg: Maddison Moore (Blakedown)
-49kg: Catherine Makanjuola (Eltham, London)
-57kg: Kimberley Barnes (Southampton)
-57kg: Aaliyah Powell (Huddersfield)
-67kg: Lauren Williams (Newport)
+73kg: Bianca Walkden (Liverpool)