World Leader Walkden Eyes Cash Windfall at Lucrative New Champion of Champions Event
29th December 2017
Bianca Walkden is ready to cash in when taekwondo’s richest ever tournament is staged in Wuxi, China on Saturday, December 30.
The world number one and double world champion is bidding to win the first ever World Taekwondo Grand Slam Champions Series carrying a first prize of £52,000.
Earlier this month Liverpudlian Walkden captured the overall World Grand Prix series plus a first prize of $5,000.
The 26-year-old pre-tournament favourite is one of 12 invited athletes competing in the +67kg weight category.
Among her rivals will be local favourite Zheng Shuyin who defeated the popular Brit on the way to Olympic Games glory at Rio 2016.
And Walkden has revenge in mind in any clash of the titans re-match.
“She is always on the mat delivering really good medals but she took the one medal I need to tick off my list,” said Walkden.
“That is not going to go away until I retire from the sport even if I go to Tokyo 2020 and win.
“She has always got something on me and will always be in my way,” added Walkden, recently acclaimed World Taekwondo female athlete of the year.
Walkden, the first Briton to take part in the Grand Slam Champions’ series, has no concerns at fighting Chinese ace Shuyin in front of a partisan home crowd.
“I don’t know if people remember in Rocky IV but he goes to Russia and wins. So, I am going out there to hopefully take what is mine.”
As well as aiming to boost the sport’s profile by offering total prize money across four separate weekends of £565,000, the events will feature new rules.
More points will be scored for extra spins and knockdowns and the modified rules could be introduced at Tokyo 2020.
In the New Year, Walkden’s GB Taekwondo teammates, Lauren Williams (-67kg, January 6), Mahama Cho (+80kg, January 13), Charlie Maddock (-49kg, January 13) and Jade Jones (-57kg, January 20) will have their shots at a cash jackpot.
Watch tomorrow’s action unfold live here.