World Champion Walkden puts down Tokyo marker with President’s Cup Success
19th February 2020
Bianca Walkden celebrated her first competitive outing of 2020 by taking gold at the President’s Cup in Sweden.
The Liverpool heavyweight was one of three GB Taekwondo medallists with Jade Jones and Christian McNeish securing silver and bronze in Helsingborg.
Triple world champion Walkden defeated Turkish rival and European gold medallist, Nafia Kus, 12-10 in the +73kg final.
“It is nice to start the year off on top of the podium,” said the 28-year-old world number one.
“It is time to keep pushing through for the main goal of 2020,” added Tokyo Olympic Games hopeful Walkden who beat French opponent, Solene Avoulette 13-2 in the semi-final.
Like Walkden, double Olympic champion Jade Jones was competing for the first time since a silver medal at the World Grand Slam in China last December.
The Welsh star soon made up for lost time, beating Poland’s Patrycja Adamkiewicz 11-9 on the way to the -57kg final.
However, before the Headhunter could strike for gold, she withdrew from the tournament on medical grounds.
Due to the nature of fight days within the sport, Jones had to compete for a prolonged period of time. But once back in the UK the world number one from Flint will prepare for her next competition.
Londoner Christian McNeish completed the full house of medals by taking bronze in the -68kg weight category.
“Unfortunately, it is not the result I wanted as gold is always the aim,” said the reigning European champion from Plaistow.
“But a medal is better than no medal,” he added after a 28-18 semi-final defeat.