World Champion Walkden ‘Kus-sing’ her luck after Dutch Open Silver
World Champion Bianca Walkden suffered her first defeat of 2017 but still added to GB Taekwondo’s final medal tally at the Dutch Open in Eindhoven.
The Rio 2016 bronze medallist lost 8-6 in the heavyweight final to Turkish rival, Nafia Kus.
There was a silver lining also for Portsmouth’s Ben Haines who finished runner-up in the -74kg final to London 2012 Olympian Damir Fejzic of Serbia.
That took Britain’s overall medal tally to five after double gold on Saturday for Jade Slavin (-73kg) and Peter Longobardi-Radford (-68kg) plus silver for Double Junior World Champion, Lauren Williams.
“It’s not what I came for but it’s all fun and games before the World Championships,” said Liverpudlian Walkden after Kus reversed the result from last month’s German Open final in Hamburg.
Haines, a 17-10 semi-final winner over Eduard Drewlau of Germany, was delighted with his podium placing, a day short of his 23rd birthday.
“I haven’t competed since last season’s European Championship because of a knee injury so I wasn’t sure what to expect,” he explained.
“A year is a long time when you can’t do what you love. It kills you inside watching everyone else train.
“But injuries are part of the sport and you have got to get on with it,” added Haines, a golden point winner over Belgium’s Nicholas Corten in the last 16. “It’s how you deal with the injuries.
“The final performance wasn’t great but you live and you learn. He’s beaten me every time we have met but I will be more confident next time.
“I tried my best and after reviewing the fight I am sure we can rectify things. However, overall things went well.”
World Championship bronze medallist, Rachelle Booth reached the quarter-finals of the -62kg event before losing 17-14 to Daria Shkurko of Azerbaijan. And Liverpool’s Josh Calland went down 14-9 to Russia’s Sergey Lupeta in the last 16.