Six of the best-GB fighters ready to tackle World Grand Slam quarter-finals
13th December 2018
Double Olympic champion Jade Jones and twice World championship gold medallist Bianca Walkden are among six GB Taekwondo stars through to the quarter-finals of the lucrative World Grand Slam in Wuxi, China.
Liverpudlian Walkden, defending the heavyweight title, worth £52,000, she won 12 months ago, received a bye in the last 16.
But her five Manchester trained teammates have all battled through their opening matches to stay on course for a bumper, end of year jackpot.
Jones, a winner of the World Grand Prix title in Manchester back in October, was involved in a cliff hanger against local favourite, Xiaojing Wei.
She eventually booked a shot at another Chinese athlete, Zongshi Luo, on a superiority verdict from the judges.
Doncaster’s Bradly Sinden also came through his opening last 16 contest at -68kg but there was disappointment at the same weight for European champion, Christian McNeish, beaten by South Korea’s Dong-Yun Shin.
Sinden, three times a Grand Prix medallist in 2018, defeated Jinyu Wang.
Scottish teenager Rebecca McGowan joined Walkden in the quarters with an impressive win over Kazakhstan’s Asian Games silver medallist, Cansel Deniz.
Williams, the reigning European champion also impressed at -67kg beating Dutch rival Doris Pole to reach the last eight. The Welsh teenager meets American Paige McPherson for a place in Saturday’s semi-finals.
Rio 2016 silver medallist, Lutalo Muhammad, is through to the quarter-finals at +80kg after knocking out Azerbaijan’s reigning Olympic champion, Radik Isaev. All six GB stars return to action on Friday (December 14).
For junior world champion, Jordyn Smith, from Scotland, her Grand Slam debut was always going to be about fighting against top-ranked seniors and while she lost her opening bout at -49kg the youngster didn’t disgrace herself against South Korea’s Bora Kang.
The Grand Slam format also allows for the runners-up and third place athletes to receive cash prizes of £16,000 and £4,000 respectively.
December 14: Quarter Final matches
December 15: Semi-Final matches
December 16: Finals