Grit and Polish – Josh Steps Up To Podium Top After Career Highlight
22nd September 2019
Josh Calland is celebrating after winning the first gold medal of his senior career.
The Liverpool born fighter defeated Spain’s Marcos Caballero Echevarria 8-3 in the -68kg final at the Polish Open in Warsaw.
Calland, who fought at the World Championships in Manchester earlier this year, also defeated top seed, Nimrod Krivishkiy of Israel 23-19 in the semi-finals.
“It felt really good getting on to the podium after the World Championships not going as well I would have liked,” said the new champion.
“It was good to pick up a medal here,” added Calland who previously collected a handful of silver and bronze medals before this latest breakthrough.
“Tactically, I think my fights got better as I started to get into the day.
“It was good some of the stuff I have been working on in the gym with my coach came off. I knew my plan and we went through it before my matches.”
The tournament marked 12 months since the 21-year-old’s return to the Manchester-based National Performance Centre after taking time out from the sport.
GB Taekwondo sent a small team to Warsaw with Calland the only athlete to make it onto the podium.
Heavyweight Jack Spall reached the quarter-finals at +87kg but lost 14-6 against Poland’s Mikolaj Szaferski.
Yorkshire’s Emelye O’Brien also reached the last eight at -57kg before losing to home favourite Patrycja Adamkiewicz.
And the third Brit missing out on the semi-finals was Brandon Jewell beaten 16-4 by -87kg top seed Rafael Kamalov of Russia.