Walkden, Williams win Grand Slam titles and Christmas jackpot
16th December 2018
Christmas definitely came early for Bianca Walkden and Lauren Williams as the GB Taekwondo duo scooped more than £100,000 for their World Taekwondo World Grand Slam wins in Wuxi, China.
Liverpool star Walkden retained her heavyweight title by beating America’s Madelynn Gorman-Shore.
For Welsh star Williams, it was her first Grand Slam gold as well as also pocketing a £52,000 first prize.
The two-time European champion from Blackwood, Newport defeated Turkey’s Nur Tatar Askari in the final of the -67kg division.
Double Olympic champion Jade Jones and 2017 World Championship bronze medallist, Bradly Sinden, finished with silvers and £16,000 consolation prizes after losing in the finals of the -57kg and -68kg competitions.
“I couldn’t be happier,” smiled 27-year-old Walkden. “I wanted to finish the year off with a gold medal and I’m happy I did it.
“She gave me a good fight but deep down I was hungry to win.”
Williams outclassed reigning world champion and double Olympic medallist, Tatar, to take the title.
“I wanted this so badly,” said the twice former world junior champion. “No one but my family and friends knew how much I wanted it.
“I’ve done it for them all back home and I feel on top of the world. There was no stopping me getting that gold.
“So, I went out there and stuck to my plan perfectly and I managed to pull it off.”
Yorkshireman Sinden had high hopes of gold after a semi-final victory over South Korea’s three-time world champion, Lee Dae-Hoon.
Instead, he missed out against China’s Shuai Zhao while Jones also went down to Chinese opposition, beaten by Lijun Zhou avenging her Manchester World Grand Prix final defeat to the world number one back in October.
Scottish teenager Rebecca McGowan made an impressive start to her bronze medal match against Poland’s Aleksandra Kowalczuk but eventually slipped to defeat.