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Williams retains European crown as GB medal tally rises again

12th May 2018

Lauren Williams boosted GB Taekwondo’s gold medal haul to three by retaining her European Championship title in Kazan, Russia.

And with Peter Longobardi-Radford winning bronze, Britain’s tally reached six medals with a day of competition still to go.

Williams from Blackwood, Newport announced herself on the senior stage by winning her -67kg European title in Switzerland two years ago.

Now the 19-year-old Welsh star has matched compatriot Jade Jones’ tally of two Euro titles in as many years.

“It hasn’t sunk in yet,” said Williams, joining Jones and Christian McNeish on top of the podium in Kazan.

“I picked up an injury in the semi-final and that was my focus,” added the champion.

“So, I haven’t celebrated or enjoyed it as much as I should. But I am sure I will wake up buzzing.

“In the final I was restricted because of the injury so I just had to do what I could to get the win.

“It wasn’t the best I have ever performed but I got the job done in the end.”

After a first round bye, Williams defeated Portugal’s Sofia Cruz 33-13 before knocking out Poland’s Anika Godel-Chelmecka 13-10.

Italian Daniela Rotolo was brushed aside 26-14 in the last four before gold was attained with a 14-11 win over Turkey’s Nur Tatar, a double Olympic medallist and a world championship winner last year.

Longobardi-Radford won three matches to qualify for a bronze medal fight at -74kg against Croatia’s Toni Kanaet. The earlier contests were tough encounters, including a golden point first round victory.

Longobardi-Radford gave it his best shot before Kanaet ran out a 21-5 winner.

Scot Damon Sansum, a double world championship bronze medallist in 2015, lost 26-5 to Norway’s Richard Andre Ordemann in the quarter-finals.

Rachelle Booth’s Britain’s other competitor on the penultimate day of the tournament, went out in the quarter-finals of the -62 kg weight division to Spain’s Marta Calvo Garcia.

Tomorrow (Sunday) double world champion, Bianca Walkden, goes for her 10th successive title in the heavyweight division having not lost now for more than a year.

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