19th October 2017

Amy Truesdale is on top of the Para Taekwondo World after becoming champion for the first time at the Copper Box Arena in London tonight.

The Chester star added gold to her previous haul of a silver and two bronze medals from her three previous Para World Championship appearances.

Truesdale, the world number one, was dominant throughout the competition at K44 +58kg and it didn’t stop in the final against Morocco’s Rajae Akermach. Her African opponent was 17-3 down when she suffered a final ending injury in round 2.

“I don’t know what happened to her” said Truesdale, eight years after her first World Championship podium place. “She must have picked up an injury. It’s one of those things but a win’s a win.

“I was given gold in 2014 but only by default. I class this as my first World title and hopefully not my last.

“It’s not really sunk in yet but obviously I’m delighted. The home crowd definitely helped me today.

“The real goal is Tokyo 2020 and it will come around really quickly – so I’ve got to make sure I step up my training.”

Truesdale had already completed her first task of the day prior to making a competitive appearance. The four-time World Championship competitor took the athletes oath at the opening ceremony attended by President Choue Chung-won and Julia Newton, Chair of GB Taekwondo.

Despite a lengthy delay prior to her opening bout Truesdale wasted no time running up a 21-1 victory over Brazilian Debora Menezes. Truesdales’ second victory was against Seyma Nur Emeksiz of Turkey 23-4.

Former rugby union player Leif Thobroe touched down with victory on his World Championship debut against African rival Jean Pierre Imanirakiza.

Thobroe, born in Birmingham, but now based in Wales, defeated his Rwandan rival 26-5 in the K42 -61kg category. One more win would have guaranteed a medal but he lost 22-14 to Turkey’s Mehmet Sami Sarac.

“I fought him before, he’s 3rd ranked in the world – so a tough opponent” said Thobroe. “I’m disappointed I didn’t fight my own game but that’s two Quarter Finals in six months so I am happy.

“Tokyo 2020 is the aim but I’m getting better every time I fight, so I am looking forward to my next competition.”

Londoner Joseph Lane suffered a disappointment of a first match exit, losing against Vasileios Panagiotopoulos of Greece in the K44 -75kg.

“It was a great experience having everyone here watching but I’m disappointed I went out when I did. But I feel like I have come a long way since my only other tournament in Korea.

“Now, I want to push on and learn more about the sport. It wasn’t the result I wanted but I have got more data to take forward to make me a better athlete.” said the 19-year-old from Feltham after his 29-23 defeat.

Heavyweight Matt Bush was an impressive first round winner over Turkey’s Yasin Tokdogan. However, the Welsh newcomer suffered a 30-7 defeat against Croatia’s Ivan Mikulic in round two.

“I made a few small errors but it’s only my second competition and he is the World Champion,” said Bush after his defeat in the K44 +75kg.

“It was a tough draw but I was still in there pushing in the second round” added Bush whose next outing will be Portugal

*Welsh teenager Katie Eley had been scheduled to make her para Taekwondo debut -58kg. Instead, the 16-year-old from Port Talbot failed to meet the requirements of her classification.

Watch Olympic medallists Jade Jones and Bianca Walkden compete at the London edition of the World Taekwondo Grand Prix, which takes place in the Copper Box Arena from October 20-22.

Tickets are now on sale for the event at: Ticketmaster and See Tickets.

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