Gearing Up For The Grand Prix-Trio Of GB Stars Medal In Korea
Damon Sansum added bronze to Great Britain’s final medal tally at the Chuncheon Open after earlier successes for Charlie Maddock and Rachelle Booth.
“I was a bit unlucky with some of the decisions in the semi-final,” said the World Championship silver medallist, beaten 9-8 on day two of his -80kg competition. “But that’s taekwondo.”
The gold went eventually to Azerbaijan’s European Games gold medallist, Milad Beigi Harchegani.
“Damon has become a consistent medal winner,” agreed GB Taekwondo Performance Director, Gary Hall. “He is learning, he is progressing, he is working hard and to attain his maximum quota of 60 ranking points mid-year is fantastic.
“There are not many athletes in the world who have achieved that in any weight class. That demonstrates the quality of performances he is putting in.”
Booth from Wigan, produced the best display by the British contingent to underline her growing global reputation. A World bronze medallist in Russia earlier this year, the 19-year-old Lancastrian fought her way through to the final of the -62kg division.
A gold medal, however, eluded the former Fighting Chance graduate as she lost to a Korean rival. But Hall added: “Rachelle’s was a great achievement considering she has had some nasty ankle issues.
“Jade Jones got the place over her at the European Games but Rachelle will now join her at -57kg in the Grand Prix series.”
Fellow teenager Maddock from Stoke on Trent went into the tournament still on a high from her historic title at the European Games in Baku.
Maddock, Britain’s first ever female EG gold medal winner, again produced the goods to reach the semi-finals of the -49 kg division. She was opposed by local star, Ha Min-ah, the reigning world champion and was unlucky to lose on golden point.
“Charlie has only been doing WTF taekwondo for just over 12 months and she is going from strength to strength,” enthused Hall. “She made the quarter-finals at the Worlds, won gold at the European Games and now bronze in a major G2 event.
“She has also qualified for the Grand Prix series which is a massive achievement.” Of the squad that didn’t medal Hall added: “There’s more work to be done in some of the male categories but if everyone made the grade then we would be laughing.
“However, it makes sure there can be good focus on those categories in the future.”