April 12 2021
After adding European gold to her 2019 world title in Bulgaria on Sunday, Bianca Walkden is one title away from completing taekwondo's triple crown.
It was the third Euro title for the delighted Liverpool heavyweight, matching the accomplishment of GB Taekwondo teammate Jade Jones two days earlier.
On the final day of competition in Sofia, the Manchester-trained squad experienced double joy. Rebecca McGowan of Scotland won the -73kg crown, proving too tough for Milica Mandic of Serbia, the 2012 Olympic champion.
The British team took home five medals, including three golds, to place second overall but first in the female competition.
Walkden's path to the +73kg title was rare in that she was refused a final shot at Aleksandra Kowalczuk after she was forced to withdraw due to injury.
However, the triple world champion and 2018 Euro silver medallist, said: “I am really happy to get another title and become a three-time European champion, especially after the year we have had."
“Because we haven’t had that many competitions, it was just about getting out there and doing my best to make sure I am in great shape for the Olympics.“When the National Anthem was playing, I just thought this is one step closer to Tokyo. Hopefully, I can hear the same anthem at the Olympics.“I give my soul to training because I want to be the best. I believe in the work I have done and always back myself to win.”
Walkden, who dropped only three points in her matches, added: “We (Walkden and Jones) are like a double act.“To win with my best friend and become European champion again is great. Having seen Jade win two days ago I wanted the same feeling.“GB Taekwondo has done everything to get us back into the ring safely and to make sure we are still the best. You can see that has paid off.“We train to be the best and we are pushed to be the best. Results like this show we are doing the right things.
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