Gold Coast lives up to its name for trio of GB title winning stars
27th June 2019
Three GB Taekwondo stars struck gold on the Gold Coast as part of a two-part Australian tournament schedule.
Reigning European champions, Christian McNeish (-68kg) and Lauren Williams (-67kg) plus Mahama Cho (+87kg) won their respective weight divisions at the World Taekwondo President’s Cup Oceania region event.
There was bronze also for Damon Sansum (-80kg) as the quartet now tackle the Australian Open at the Carrara Indoor Sports Stadium on Saturday.
Tomorrow (Friday) is the turn of Para world champion, Matt Bush, when he competes in the Oceania Para Championships.
Londoner McNeish defeated Chinese Taipei’s Yu-Jen Huang 8-6 to claim his first title since capturing the Euro crown 13 months ago.
Victory for Welsh star Williams was also a welcome return to form. She accounted for South Korean Jan-Di Kim 22-15 in her final.
“Based off the back of two poor performances I have been able to get a feel for what I am missing,” explained the reigning World Grand Slam champion.
“This was the perfect chance to put that into practice and learn from my mistakes.
“It’s my first time in Australia and I haven’t been disappointed. Being so far from home can be tough but it’s been everything I expected, nice weather, lovely people and a good competition venue.”
Rio Olympian and 2017 world championship silver medallist, Cho, claimed gold with a 32-9 success over Manu Huaatua of FPO.
“The day was long, very long,” said Cho after his win. “But I came out to do a job and that was to collect ranking points, nothing else.
“The only challenge fighting so far away from home is the jet lag.
“Once you overcome that you are ready to go. I am gaining more experience the more I fight and I am using it to get me over my bouts.”
Oceania Para Championships Team:
+75kg: Matt Bush (Haverfordwest)
Australian Open Squad:
-68kg: Christian McNeish (Plaistow)
-80kg: Damon Sansum (Elgin)
+87kg: Mahama Cho (Stockwell)
-67kg: Lauren Williams (Blackwood, Gwent)