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World Championship medal shots primed for action

June 25, 2017

Lauren Williams and Peter Longobardi-Radford, two of GB Taekwondo’s medal hopefuls, start their World Championship campaigns tomorrow (Monday) after a testing start for the squad in South Korea.

Welsh teenager Williams is the reigning European champion and twice Junior World gold medallist.

Teammate Longobardi-Radford has won the German, Dutch and Belgian Opens in 2017 and hardly suffered disappointment since joining the GB camp in 2016.

“I have been working 16 years to get to this point,” said the 22-year-old from Rye.

“So, if I win a gold medal I can say ‘yes I am doing a good job.’

“Then you keep going, qualifying for the Grand Prixs and hopefully for Tokyo in 2020.“I feel good I can win this world championship.

“This is my first time in Korea and I am enjoying it. I’ve been down to watch my teammates and they put in some good performances.

“But this is the World Championship and you never know if you are going to win.”

That was certainly the case with Yorkshire newcomer, Courtney Eardley. The 19-year-old from Wakefield made a winning World Championship debut, defeating Bulgaria’s Nikol Chorbanova 15-7 at -49kg, the Championships’ lightest weight division.

That earned Eardley a meeting with home favourite, Olympic champion and double World champion, Kim So-hui.

The contest against her South Korean rival went the full nine-minute distance before the South Korean edged out battling Eardley on golden point.

Londoner Christian McNeish started confidently with a 13-11 victory over Surinam’s Van Dijk Tosh in the -74kg division. Another close match followed against Seydou Fofana but McNeish’s Malian rival won 18-14.

Scotland’s Hassan Haider was the first member of Britain’s 14-strong squad in action at -54kg.

The 19-year-old from Falkirk received a first round bye, defeated Puerto Rico’s Joan Nunez 13-11 before losing 28-3 against another Korean world champion, Kim Tae-hun,  who went on to defend his world title with victory over Armin Hadipour Seighalani of Iran.

*Bianca Walkden, GB Taekwondo’s current world heavyweight champion, joined Tae-hun in reading out the athletes’ oath at the tournament’s opening ceremony.

*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


Monday June 26
(W-67kg and M-68kg prelims) – Lauren Williams & Peter Longobardi-Radford

Tuesday June 27
(W-53kg, W+73kg and M-58kg prelims) – Bianca Walkden & Max Cater

(W-67kg and M-68kg FINALS) – Lauren Williams & Peter Longobardi-Radford

Wednesday June 28
(W-73kg, M-87 and M+87kg prelims) – Jade Slavin, Lutalo Muhammad & Mahama Cho

(W-53kg, W+73kg and M-58kg FINALS) – Bianca Walkden & Max Cater

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

(W-73kg, M-87 and M+87kg FINALS) – Jade Slavin, Lutalo Muhammad & 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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