Brad’s the way to do it! Sinden and Para ace Joe Lane enjoy double Euro success
21st May 2022
Bradly Sinden captured his first senior European title as Manchester continues to be home sweet home for GB Taekwondo fighters.
Sinden, a winner of bronze and silver medals at earlier editions of the Euros, defeated Spaniard Javier Perez Polo 18-8 in the -68kg final.
The Doncaster fighter’s success comes just over three years since defeating Perez Polo to win his historic world title-also in Manchester.
“Coming into this tournament people were always talking about my nickname-Mr Consistency,” smiled the Tokyo 2020 silver medallist.
“They said you’ve got bronze, you’ve got silver now it’s time to get gold. I’ve not had the best year and had a few injuries and setbacks.
“I haven’t had as much training but I am confident in my ability to get in there and perform every time.”
Mum Sheryl, a volunteer at the Championship was among the first to congratulate the Yorkshire star.
Londoner Joe Lane had set the tempo earlier in the evening by achieving his first major medal since switching to para taekwondo from football.
His -80kg success over Uzbekistan’s Asadbak Toshtemirov was the second gold and third medal for the GB Para squad at the Regional Arena.
“You have seen where I have come from; losing first round matches, getting to quarter-finals and being in and around things,” he said.
“In my heart, I believed I could always hit the podium and beat everyone on their day, no matter what their ranking,” added Lane, who fought above his natural weight to fill a place at the 2020 Paralympics.
The 23-year-old from Hounslow, a silver medallist at last year’s Para Worlds, struck two decisive late, double point blows after his Uzbek opponent fought back from 3-1 down to level at 3-3.
“This is what I have trained for,” said the ecstatic new champion after his 8-3 success.
“I stuck to my game plan and trusted my coach (Andrew Deer) in my corner. I knew I could get a cheeky point on him and fortunately, I managed to make my shots count.
“I wasn’t worried at all because the crowd helped me massively. It was amazing to see and hear the support of the whole team.”
GBT fighters have now claimed seven medals from the opening three days of competition including bronze at -67kg for Olympic silver medallist, Lauren Williams.
“I was gutted not to reach the final,” said the Welsh star after semi-final defeat to Magda Henin of France. “But to fight in front of a home crowd was probably the best thing about today.
“I am sure I will meet her in semis and finals in the future when hopefully it will be my turn to get the win.”
There is optimism for more precious metal on day four with double Olympic champion Jade Jones going for gold at -57kg where she is joined by 2019 World Championship bronze medallist, Aaliyah Powell from Huddersfield.
There was no joy, however, for Londoner Catherine Makanjuola. The 19 year-old from Eltham, fighting at -46kg, the lowest weight category, went down 47-43 to Finland’s Ida-elina Tammila.