Three-time champion Walkden on top of World after Dramatic Victory
17th May 2019
Bianca Walkden became a record-breaking three-time world champion in Manchester tonight (Friday).
The Liverpudlian heavyweight and world number one defeated Shuyin Zheng, the world number two, after her Chinese rival was disqualified in the +73kg final.
‘Queen B’ trailed 20-10 going into the closing minute but was awarded her latest crown when Zheng collected a 10th and final penalty point.
Both fighters were emotionally drained at the end; Walkden weeping tears of relief and Zheng crying in frustration at seeing a first world title snatched from her grasp in the most dramatic of circumstances.
“I genuinely did earn it in a different way,” said Walkden with the precious gold medal around her neck.
“People will say it’s not the right way to win. But a win is a win. It’s in the rules that you win if you disqualify someone.
“It’s not my fault I am so aggressive and I went at her. It’s not the shock people are making out; it’s happened many times.”
“I was going to give my soul to try and come out with a gold medal.
“If someone asked me to do the whole fight again, I would go out there and do the same fight again because I am standing here as world champion.”
The Sky’s the limit for Walkden’s GB Taekwondo teammate and double Olympic champion Jones after becoming the third Briton to reach a Manchester final.
Eight years after marking her senior world championship debut with a silver medal, Jones is into another -57kg final.
Standing between the 26-year-old and a coveted first world title is South Korea’s Ah-Reum Lee who defeated China’s Lijun Zhou 15-12.
The pair met in Muju two years ago with Lee winning 14-8 before going onto take the title.
This time it will be Jones’ turn to have the home crowd roaring her on as they were against Canadian, Skylar Park.
Jones trailed midway through the second round and was only 14-12 ahead going into the closing moments. But in flurry of points the home favourite completed an 18-12 win.
“Normally, I fight better in the semi-finals and the finals but I fought pretty well in the earlier rounds,” said Jones after defeating her 19-year-old rival.
“I came off my plan a little and the match got to me. But I managed to finish it off which is hard to do when you lose it mentally.
“I just needed to focus on my plan and not think about what she was doing. I let it go cagey instead of going after her which is my normal style.”
Jones shrugged off talk of extra pressure generated by home expectation.
“There is always pressure the main thing I have got through on home soil.
“The crowd is all there for me willing me on. If I lose, they lose as well so that means a lot to me going in. I just want to do it for me and for them.
Jones, appearing in her fourth world championship, received a first-round bye and wasted little time when taking the mat for the first time.
Up against Cambodia’s Casandre Nicole Tubbs, the 2011 silver medallist stormed through 23-3 winning on a points gap at the end of round two.
There were no dramas either in the last 16 as the Flint fighter racked up a 17-2 win over Chia-Ling Lo of Chinese Taipei.
Her opponents were now struggling to keep up with the Jones and she guaranteed herself a third world medal by defeating Iran’s.
Maddison Moore reached the quarter-finals on her world championship debut before bowing out against Turkey’s European gold medallist and 2011 world bronze medallist, Rukiye Yildirim.
However, Moore quickly impressed on her senior worlds debut. The former senior and junior European karate champion defeated Hong Kong’s Sui Wai Lam 28-5 by points gap in her opening contest.
Her second against Victoria Stambaugh ended in the blink of an eye as her Puerto Rico rival suffered a match-ending injury.
“Anything can happen at a world championship,” she said. “My second fight I fought for around six seconds.
“Unfortunately, the girl in the quarters was better than me and I let my frustrations get the better of me.
“But it has been an amazing experience and I am happy to have had it.”
*Tickets are still available for purchase on kickingforglory.com, don’t miss out on Jade Jones’ Final on home soil before the Tokyo 2020 Games!
-63kg: Josh Calland (Liverpool)
-80kg: Damon Sansum (Elgin)
-53kg: Aaliyah Powell (Huddersfield)
-57kg: Jade Jones-final
-67kg: Lauren Williams (Blackwood)