Brilliant Brad beats South Korean ace as GB stars shine at World Taekwondo Grand Slam
15th December 2018
Bradly Sinden ended the two-year unbeaten record of Lee Dae-Hoon as GB Taekwondo fighters dominated the semi-finals of the World Grand Slam in Wuxi, China.
The 20-year-old from Doncaster is now one win away from his first major title and a £52,000 first prize.
Sinden succeeded where a host of Lee’s rival have failed in the -68kg weight division by stunning South Korea’s three-time world champion and current World Taekwondo Player of the Year.
Double Olympic champion Jade Jones, twice world championship gold medallist, Bianca Walkden, and current European champion, Lauren Williams, also qualified for their respective finals at -57kg, +67kg and -67kg.
Lee, a winner of all five World Taekwondo Grand Prix titles in 2018, was hot favourite to take his place in tomorrow’s final.
“I can’t believe it,” said happy Sinden who now faces China’s Shuai Zhao. “It was an amazing win.
“It was all about implementing the game plan. I had a really good first round and everything me and the coach (Martin Stamper) wanted to do, happened.
“I was a bit more static in the second round but I managed to pull it off and it is an amazing feeling.
“To be honest I am still in a state of shock. Hopefully, I can implement tactics like I have done all competition because I want to win my first major gold.
“Everyone has been messaging saying how proud they are of me.
“It’s an amazing buzz and I can’t wait to put on another show and bring home the gold.”
The Grand Slam format also allows for the runners-up and third place athletes to receive cash prizes of £16,000 and £4,000 respectively.
Welsh star Williams defeated Ivory Coast’s reigning world champion Ruth Gbagbi and admitted: “It was tough.
“I was feeling tired, more than normal and it definitely showed.
“Ruth is incredibly strong and dynamic. She is a very tough opponent and it will always be close between us.
“I have one more fight to go but to get this far is absolutely crazy I honestly haven’t experienced anything like this before.”
Williams now faces Turkey’s Nur Tatar Askari for gold and the cash jackpot.
Walkden knocked out Poland’s Aleksandra Kowalczuk to avenge defeat at this year’s European Championships.
“I have fought her so many times,” said the Liverpool heavyweight.
“But after losing to her at the Euros it really annoyed me. So, it was great to take the win over her in such a big competition.
“I was trying to be as confident as I could. I got my flow going and it worked for me in the match.”
Hopes of an all British final ended when teenager Rebecca McGowan’s giant-killing run ended against Madelynn Gorman-Shore. However, the 18-year-old from Dumbarton will fight again tomorrow for bronze.
Jones faces China’s Lijun Zhou after Croatia’s Marija Stetic.