‘Gardener’ Lauren Ready to Turf it Out in Search of Grand Prix Gold!
17th October 2019
Lauren Williams has been digging for victory and hopes her labours are rewarded at the inaugural World Taekwondo Grand Prix in Bulgaria this weekend.
The reigning -67kg World Grand Slam champion is part of a nine-strong GB Taekwondo squad competing in Sofia.
The team also includes Williams’ Welsh compatriot, Jade Jones, returning to competition for the first time since her maiden World Championship victory last May.
Williams has fought regularly, however, since missing a medal in Manchester and is relishing her trip to the Bulgarian capital. For one thing, she will escape her parents’ DIY chores.
“Mum and dad have always made me do little jobs around the house,” explained the 20-year-old fighter. And they still make me dig up the garden.
“But I don’t mind because it stops me from being lazy.
“So, rather than go for a walk or go jogging, I have been helping out in the garden.
“It has helped as it’s stopped me getting too lazy and switching off at the weekend. It’s just a bit of active recovery and I am definitely still the same person before I joined the Academy.”
Away from the Williams’ household the double former world junior champion has been training hard and taking part in unofficial test matches against opponents from France and Kazakhstan.
She fought at last month’s Grand Prix in Chiba but came away from Japan empty-handed.
“I reviewed Japan and what I did wrong and I have a clearer mind going forward into this tournament,” she said. “I have got a good block of training in and I am ready to go.
“I fought at the Sofia Open last year so I am looking forward to going back to Bulgaria.”
World champion and world number one Jones has already won in the Balkans this year, taking gold at the 2019 edition of the Sofia Open.
She is on course for qualifying a place at -57kg in next year’s Olympic Games when Jones would expect to challenge for a third successive Olympic gold medal.
Triple world titleholder, Bianca Walkden, collected a silver medal in Chiba, she came second in the +67kg final to China’s Shuyin Zheng – who previously missed out to the Liverpudlian at the World Championships Final, earlier this year in Manchester.
Bradly Sinden, Britain’s first-ever male abled-bodied taekwondo world champion, is one of four males in action including double Olympic medallist, Lutalo Muhammad.
Watch all of the action unfold here.
-68kg: Christian McNeish (Plaistow), Bradly Sinden (Doncaster)
-57kg: Jade Jones (Flint)
+80kg: Mahama Cho (Stockwell), Lutalo Muhammad (Walthamstow)
-67kg: Lauren Williams (Newport)
+67kg: Rebecca McGowan (Dumbarton), Bianca Walkden (Liverpool)
-49kg: Jordyn Smith (Falkirk)