GB GIRL POWER STRIKES AGAIN AS WALKDEN RETAINS EUROPEAN TITLE
Now, the Liverpool heavyweight has set sights on completing a full set of major medals by adding Olympic Games gold at Rio 2016 in August.
Walkden defeated Turkey’s Nafia Kus 5-4 in the +73kg final to follow up this year’s victories at the Dutch and German Opens plus President’s Cup.
“I am honoured to win the European title again,” said Walkden after emulating Manchester based team mates, Jade Jones and Lauren Williams in Montreux.
“Hopefully I can become Olympic champion. Preparations are going well but I had a little cry before I went out for the final because I so wanted to do well again.”
Walkden trailed 3-2 but equalised with a left handed punch. And with less than 30 seconds remaining the in-form star slammed in another punch to lead 4-3 before both girls picked-up one point penalties.
Earlier, Walkden knocked out Ana Bajic of Serbia 7-4 in the last eight and Spaniard Rosanna Simon Alamo 4-1 in the semi-finals.
Britain finished the tournament with four medals (Walkden, Jones, Williams and Feyi Pearce) and five other prizes.
Olympic champion Jones was voted the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, Williams collected the ‘Fighting Spirit’ award, Paul Green was coach of the tournament and there were ‘Best Team’ recognitions for the overall squad and the women’s team.
There might have been more medals but big hitters Damon Sansum and Mahama Cho, suffered golden point agonies at -87kg and +87kg.
Former European silver medallist Sansum won his opening two matches against Serbia’s Milos Golubovic and Mohammed Elhatri of Norway in sudden death.
And he was agonisingly close to boosting the Brits’ medal tally only to go down 8-7 to Payam Ghobadi Oughaz of Azerbaijan.
Heavyweight Cho, the world number six and having qualified a +87kg place for the Olympics, whitewashed Djordie Marcetic of Serbia 7-0 in his first outing.
Last month’s President’s Cup winner then came up against Russia’s Roman Kuznetzov for a place in the semi-finals. Once more, the contest went to overtime with Kuznetzov edging the verdict.
Cho’s performance at the President’s Cup qualified another Euro heavyweight slot. But Scottish team mate Lyle Walker went down 9-4 to reigning European champion, Arman Marshall Silla.
Jade Slavin was just pleased to be back on the mat after nine months out following hip surgery. So, the Consett fighter was delighted to come through her first fight since last July with victory against Norway’s Tina Skaar in the -73kg weight category.
She then forced Serbia’s reigning Olympic champion and double European silver medallist, Milicia Mandic to golden point before losing 3-0.
Round 1: Beat Milos Golubovic SRB 8-5 Golden Point
Round 2: Beat Mohammed Elhatri NOR 7-6 Golden Point
QF: Lost to Payam Ghobadi Oughaz AZE 7-8 Golden Point
Round 1: Beat Djordje Marcetic SRB 7-0
QF: Lost to Roman Kuznetzov RUS 4-5 Golden Point
Round 1: Lost to Arman Marshall Silla BLR 9-4
QF: Beat Ana Bajic SRB 7-4
SF: Beat Rosanna Simon Alamo ESP 4-1
F: Beat Nafia Kus TUR 5-4
Round 1: Tina Skaar NOR 2-1
QF: Lost to Milica Mandic 0-3 Golden Point