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Wonderful Walkden Reigns Supreme at World Championships

June 28, 2017

Bianca Walkden made GB Taekwondo history by retaining her heavyweight title at the WTF World Championships in Muju, South Korea today. (Wednesday)

Liverpudlian Walkden, 25, defeated American Jackie Galloway 14-4 at +73kg to become the first Brit to win back-to- back senior world crowns.

There was more delight for the GB contingent when heavyweight, Mahama Cho, secured at least a bronze medal by reaching the semi-finals of the +87kg category.

And there could be a guarantee of another medal tomorrow (Thursday) when double Olympic champion, Jade Jones, makes her belated World bow at -57kg.

“I am just so happy,” grinned ‘Queen B’ Walkden. “I am buzzing and it definitely hasn’t sunk in yet.

“I didn’t think it would be that fluent if that makes sense. They were difficult opponents but I felt really composed.

“And my gamble has paid off. I took off my gold medal (from 2015) and treated this as though it was double or quits. And I came back with double.”

Despite her latest success Walkden still has unfinished business with sport-namely Olympic gold at Tokyo 2020.

“I was devastated after Rio,” said the bronze medallist from 10 months ago. “And it’s still a goal I need to get in Tokyo.”

Walkden, who will chase a hat-trick when the World Championships are held in Manchester in 2019, reached the final with a 9-3 success over home favourite, Saebom An.

Silver medallist Galloway defeated China’s Olympic champion, Shuyin Zheng.

“I’d like to thank Paul Green, my coach, all the strength and conditioning coaches, if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be here,” added Walkden.

For Cho, his performances so far have helped to heal the wounds from last year’s Olympics when finishing fourth.

The ‘Stockwell slayer’ has fought sparingly since Rio 2016 but produced some excellent performances to reach the last four.

He guaranteed a medal with a 14-1 quarter-final success over fellow Rio Olympian, Sajjad Mardani of Iran.

Earlier, Cho defeated reigning European gold medallist, Arman-Marshall Silla of Belarus 23-12.

Cho will face Grand Prix Final medallist Roman Kuznetsov of Russia in tomorrow’s semi-final.

There was no happy return to action for Rio 2016 silver medallist, Lutalo Muhammad.

The “Walthamstow Warrior’ successfully came through his comeback bout against Grenada’s Fronzie Charles 36-1.

But Muhammad, who hasn’t fought since last year’s Olympics, went down 21-6 in the last 32 against Smaiyl Duisebay from Kazakhstan.

Jade Slavin from Consett lost in the 16 to Mexico’s Rio 2016 silver medallist, Maria Espinoza.

All semi-final and finals will be shown on the BBC red button, Connected TV and the BBC Sport website from 11am-1.15pm.

*London’s Copper Box Arena is hosting the World Taekwondo Grand Prix from October 20-22. Tickets are now on sale via http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/taekwondo


Thursday June 29
(W-57kg and M-63kg prelims) – Jade Jones & Bradly Sinden;

(M+87kg  FINALS) – Mahama Cho

Friday June 30
(W-62kg and M-80kg prelims & FINALS) – Rachelle Booth, Damon Sansum

(W-57kg and M-63kg FINALS) – Jade Jones & Bradly Sinden

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