President’s Cup Golden Double for Bianca and Lauren
Golden girls Bianca Walkden and Lauren Williams swelled GB Taekwondo’s medal tally at the President’s Cup in Athens tonight. (Friday)
After double Olympic champion Jade Jones’ successful return to action on Thursday, it was the turn of Rio 2016 bronze medallist Walkden and World Junior champion, Williams, to show their class.
There was further good news when Yorkshire’s Courtney Eardley, one of the newest recruits to the GB Academy in Manchester through the Fighting Chance initiative claimed a superb silver medal in the -49kg category.
Liverpudlian heavyweight, Walkden, enjoyed a comfortable win in the +73kg final against Poland’s Aleksandra Kowalczuk.
In contrast, Welsh teenager Williams prevailed in the -67kg final but only after a titanic battle against Sweden’s Elin Johannson.
The prolific Scandinavian star levelled the scores at 10-all with a head shot in the latter stages of the last round only for Williams to find a late winner.
She had already survived an equally close encounter in the semi-final against Turkey’s Nur Tatar.
The match finished 23-22 in Williams favour thanks to a punch in the closing seconds to defeat the double Olympic medallist.
“They were world class performances in a world class field,” said delighted GB Taekwondo Performance Director, Gary Hall.
“I am really pleased they have put in some fine displays before the World Championships.
“So, far it’s been an exceptionally good tournament against exceptionally quality opponents.
“Our guys train really hard and are coached by a world class coaching team which is backed up by a world class support team. The system we have in Manchester is the world’s best.
“So, I am not surprised by the results. I am pleased they are getting these results because they are dedicated motivated professional.”
Saturday, April 29
-68kg: Peter Longobardi-Radford (Rye).
Sunday, April 30:
-74kg: Christian McNeish (Plaistow)
-62kg: Rachelle Booth (Wigan)
-73kg: Jade Slavin (Consett)