Home / Bianca Walkden / Double joy for Brits Walkden and McGowan in Croatia

Double joy for Brits Walkden and McGowan in Croatia

24th November 2020

Bianca Walkden with High Performance Coach, Mike Harvey

Bianca Walkden and Rebecca McGowan enjoyed winning returns to action as GB Taekwondo fighters gained four medals on the opening day of competition at the Open European Club Championships in Croatia.

Triple world champion Walkden defeated Turkey’s Nafia Kus 15-1 in the final of the +73kg competition while McGowan overcame home favourite, Doris Pole 12-9 at -73kg.

World number one Jade Jones was involved in a series of high scoring encounters at -57kg and secured a silver medal on golden point after narrowly missing out on first place to Hatice Ilgun of Turkey.

Maddison Moore was also denied a higher colour medal in sudden death, losing 9-7 against Tania Romero of Spain during the semi-final.

“It felt so good to be back, even just fighting and competing,” said Liverpudlian Walkden, 29.

“We have been through such strange and weird times it feels an extra bit special to be able to fight again and then go after the win.

“The whole world is shocked by what has happened with the pandemic but perhaps we are slowly getting back into a new normality.

“But to say we are nearly at the end of 2020 and the Olympics haven’t been yet is crazy.

“It is all about the Olympics for me now, trying to go after that last gold medal to tick off my list.”

Rebecca McGowan with High Performance Coach, Torann Maizeroi

Scottish star McGowan, 20, defeated 2015 World bronze medallist Nikita Glasnovic 26-6 in the semi-finals before denying Pole top spot.

“I’m always so appreciative and grateful to get on the podium but it definitely makes it better because it’s been so long!

“If someone had told me last year it would have taken this long to compete again, there’s not a chance I would have believed them.

“But I feel like it’s been a great year for me for improving. So, it was good to put it into practice in a competition.”

Jade Jones (left) on the podium in second place

Double Olympic champion Jones knocked out Helena Kicema of Croatia 41-9 and whitewashed Portugal’s Joana Cunha 29-0 before her narrow defeat against Ilgun.

Moore from Blakedown completed the quartet at -49kg with a bronze medal and was grateful to be back in the ring.

Maddison Moore (right) with her bronze medal

“It felt a little surreal at first but I just go into the moment and it took me back to everything being normal again. I essentially just tuned in and did what I had to do.”

However, Scottish youngster Jordyn Smith lost in the quarter-finals at the same weight to Abishag Semberg of Israel and Sharissa Gannaway (-67kg) was also beaten at the quarter-final stage 23-9 to Turkey’s Ikra Kayir.

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