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Mahama Cho suffered an unwanted case of déjà vu on the final day of competition at the World Championships in Manchester.
The GB heavyweight, competing in the +87kg division, was looking to win the host nation’s fifth medal.
Instead, he lost on golden point to Brazilian Maicon Siqueira, the man who denied him a bronze medal at the Rio 2016 Olympics.
Cho deployed the ‘Mahama hammer’ punch to good effect throughout the contest and battled back in the final round to force their bout into overtime.
But it was 26-year-old Siqueira who struck decisively to seal his place in the last four.
Cho, a world silver medallist in Muju four years ago, put on a brave face after his unwanted exit.
“This is taekwondo, someone has to lose and unfortunately this time it was me,” he said.
“I went out there with the intention to bring home another medal but it wasn’t to be.
“I gave it everything. I don’t have any excuses. I left everything on the mat and tactically he did a better job than me.
“Credit where credit is due. He fought well though was neck and neck to the end.
“I am disappointed with the loss but happy with the performance.
“I just hope I can carry on and end the season well and qualify for the Olympic Games next year.”
“Taking defeats here is going to make me stronger when it comes to the Olympics,” added Cho who defeated Canada’s Marc Andre Bergeron 17-5 in the last 16 and stopped Guan-Ting Lin of Chinese Taipei with a first-round knockout.
Siqueira’s bid for gold ended in the semi-finals when beaten by Cuban Rafael Alba.
Newly crowned World Champion, Jones was also voted the tournament’s ‘Most Valuable Female Player’, whilst GB collected 4th ‘Best Male Team’ and 3rd ‘Best Women’s Team’.
Teenager Aaliyah Powell became Great Britain’s youngest ever senior World Championship medallist boosting the home nation’s tally to four with one day of competition remaining at the Manchester Arena.
The 16-year-old Huddersfield youngster has combined her GCSE studies with preparing for her first senior competition.
And she handed out a series of taekwondo lessons on her -53kg debut to join Bianca Walkden, Bradly Sinden and Jade Jones on the podium.
“My initial; aim was to win my first match and everything after that was a bonus,” said the reigning junior world champion following a 38-5 defeat in the penultimate round to Russian Tatiana Kudashova. “But everyone comes here to win
“However, if someone had told me I would get to the semi-finals I would have taken that.
“There was no pressure because I am one of the youngest people in the competition. But in my own mind, I know my own ability.”
Despite her junior world success, Powell suffered an early exit in the 2018 Youth Olympics.
“They were a big learning curve for me,” admitted the Quest Taekwondo prospect.
“I prepared well for it but when I got there I crumbled with the atmosphere, the crowd and the title of the competition.
“Sometimes in juniors, you can get away with it if you a bit sloppy, but seniors are not going to give you that break
Powell’s achievement eclipsed Jade Jones who was 18 when winning in South Korea eight years ago.
Receiving a bye in the first round, she looked perfectly at ease in her unfamiliar surroundings, even taking out Greece’s Christianna Tyrologou on golden point
She followed up by beating Morocco’s Oumaima El Bouchiti to earn a semi-final showdown against Russia’s Muju silver medallist.
It wasn’t such a happy day for World Grand Slam champion Lauren Williams looking to add to her two previous junior world title victories.
She received a first-round bye and then came up against Iran’s Kimia Hermati. And there was surprise and disappointment for home fans when the Welsh youngster bowed out against the 2018 Youth Olympic Games silver medallist.
“I am absolutely gutted,” said the Blackwood youngster through her tears.
“If there was a situation I could explain my worst nightmare, I have just lived it, unfortunately.
“I am just devastated. I had terrible preparation leading into it and I never wanted that to be an excuse.
“At the Turkish Open, I had a successful competition but managed to break my leg and the road leading up to this has been about recovery and trying to get me the best I can.
“I felt good in the warm-up and I felt good until I stepped on the mat and I wasn’t ready.
“It will take me a while to get over this because it is such a massive event. In sport these things happen but unfortunately, it happened to me. But I will be back.”
Damon Sansum, fighting at -80kg couldn’t add to his double world championship medal tally. He cruised through his first match against Tharaka Kasun Jayatliaka Sanguge of Sri Lanka 44-4 by points gap before securing a dramatic 8-7 victory over Partik Divkovic.
He looked set for another last gasp win against Italy’s Roberta Botta only to slip to a 13-12 defeat in the last 16’s.
“It’s a split second that’s the difference between winning and losing; makes someone medal and win the worlds or lose in the third round,” said Sansum.
“Regardless, it’s my fifth world championship and that’s over 10 years. I am 32 and I am still competitive.
“The next world championship is two years away so for me pushing into Tokyo is as far as I can see at the moment.
“I have had to adapt from previous styles to current taekwondo, I’ve had to keep up with everyone, change things, I train hard which is why I have been successful.”
Four years after selection to the 2015 edition of the championships, Liverpool’s Josh Calland acquitted himself well on his return.
He defeated Alexander Ortiz of Peru 17-12 and Greek Nikolaos Kalaitsidis 33-13 before bowing out32-16 against Turkey’s Ferhat Can Kavurat.
“I tried to enjoy the occasion, but I couldn’t; get the result I wanted,” said the 25-year-old from Liverpool. “But I can’t believe how much I have grown physically and mentally since the last Worlds.”
Bianca Walkden became a record-breaking three-time world champion in Manchester tonight (Friday).
The Liverpudlian heavyweight and world number one defeated Shuyin Zheng, the world number two, after her Chinese rival was disqualified in the +73kg final.
‘Queen B’ trailed 20-10 going into the closing minute but was awarded her latest crown when Zheng collected a 10th and final penalty point.
Both fighters were emotionally drained at the end; Walkden weeping tears of relief and Zheng crying in frustration at seeing a first world title snatched from her grasp in the most dramatic of circumstances.
“I genuinely did earn it in a different way,” said Walkden with the precious gold medal around her neck.
“People will say it’s not the right way to win. But a win is a win. It’s in the rules that you win if you disqualify someone.
“It’s not my fault I am so aggressive and I went at her. It’s not the shock people are making out; it’s happened many times.”
“I was going to give my soul to try and come out with a gold medal.
“If someone asked me to do the whole fight again, I would go out there and do the same fight again because I am standing here as world champion.”
The Sky’s the limit for Walkden’s GB Taekwondo teammate and double Olympic champion Jones after becoming the third Briton to reach a Manchester final.
Eight years after marking her senior world championship debut with a silver medal, Jones is into another -57kg final.
Standing between the 26-year-old and a coveted first world title is South Korea’s Ah-Reum Lee who defeated China’s Lijun Zhou 15-12.
The pair met in Muju two years ago with Lee winning 14-8 before going onto take the title.
This time it will be Jones’ turn to have the home crowd roaring her on as they were against Canadian, Skylar Park.
Jones trailed midway through the second round and was only 14-12 ahead going into the closing moments. But in flurry of points the home favourite completed an 18-12 win.
“Normally, I fight better in the semi-finals and the finals but I fought pretty well in the earlier rounds,” said Jones after defeating her 19-year-old rival.
“I came off my plan a little and the match got to me. But I managed to finish it off which is hard to do when you lose it mentally.
“I just needed to focus on my plan and not think about what she was doing. I let it go cagey instead of going after her which is my normal style.”
Jones shrugged off talk of extra pressure generated by home expectation.
“There is always pressure the main thing I have got through on home soil.
“The crowd is all there for me willing me on. If I lose, they lose as well so that means a lot to me going in. I just want to do it for me and for them.
Jones, appearing in her fourth world championship, received a first-round bye and wasted little time when taking the mat for the first time.
Up against Cambodia’s Casandre Nicole Tubbs, the 2011 silver medallist stormed through 23-3 winning on a points gap at the end of round two.
There were no dramas either in the last 16 as the Flint fighter racked up a 17-2 win over Chia-Ling Lo of Chinese Taipei.
Her opponents were now struggling to keep up with the Jones and she guaranteed herself a third world medal by defeating Iran’s.
Maddison Moore reached the quarter-finals on her world championship debut before bowing out against Turkey’s European gold medallist and 2011 world bronze medallist, Rukiye Yildirim.
However, Moore quickly impressed on her senior worlds debut. The former senior and junior European karate champion defeated Hong Kong’s Sui Wai Lam 28-5 by points gap in her opening contest.
Her second against Victoria Stambaugh ended in the blink of an eye as her Puerto Rico rival suffered a match-ending injury.
“Anything can happen at a world championship,” she said. “My second fight I fought for around six seconds.
“Unfortunately, the girl in the quarters was better than me and I let my frustrations get the better of me.
“But it has been an amazing experience and I am happy to have had it.”
*Tickets are still available for purchase on kickingforglory.com, don’t miss out on Jade Jones’ Final on home soil before the Tokyo 2020 Games!
Bianca Walkden and Bradly Sinden will go for gold on day three of taekwondo’s World Championships (May 17) after superb semi-final victories at Manchester Arena tonight.
Double champion Walkden is one fight away from achieving legendary status after reaching a third successive +73kg final.
Yorkshireman Sinden is six minutes from becoming GB Taekwondo’s first ever male able-bodied taekwondo world gold medallist.
The 20-year-old from Doncaster stunned South Korean great Dae-hoon Lee 24-23 in the penultimate round of the -68kg weight division.
Liverpool heavyweight Walkden, a world winner in 2015 and 2017, defeated Mexican rival Briseida Costa 19-9 in her semi-final to also guarantee silver.
Standing in the way of Walkden’s bid for a unique treble is Chinese rival, Shuyin Zheng, who defeated Doris Pole of Croatia 9-2 in the second semi-final.
The pair famously met in the 2016 Olympic Games semi-finals with Zheng winning and then going onto claim gold.
That’s the one blemish on Walkden’s outstanding record that continues to drive on the 27-year-old title holder to more success.
“I know I will die trying for that,” she said when asked about her search for a third world crown. “Hopefully, I can do it and it will be a dream come true.
“I want to leave a big legacy and to become a legend in my weight. But I have not got there I have one more fight.
“I’m obviously made up I am through to the final again but I am gutted I didn’t do a few things well that I should have done,” explained Walkden, tied at 2-2 after the first round but helped by a big, second round headshot.
“I don’t know why I am so angry. But that’s just me I am a bit of a perfectionist.
“Sometimes, you have to just do what you have to do to go through. And I did that.“
Walkden beat Lorena Brandl 23-14 in quarter-finals having knocked out Uzbek Svetlana Osipova 18-5 in her last 16.
Sinden’s previous meeting against three-time champion Lee ended the Asian ace’s two-year unbeaten record at the World Grand Slam in China last December.
He lost the final to China’s Shuai Zhao but is determined history won’t repeat itself against Spain’s Javier Perez Polo, a 12-6 semi-final winner over Russian Alexey Denisenko.
“I had a big range of emotions at losing in the Grand Slam final,” explained the 2017 world championship bronze medallist.
“But it just pushed me on to be more determined for the next one.
“It’s character building. You take that, you work on it and you see if you put it into the next comp.
“I have done a lot of big comebacks (Sinden trailed 17-12 in round three) and he is hard person to do it against.
“But I believe in my fitness, I believe what I do in training and I push myself to do everything I can do.
“I knew I could beat him but I knew it would be a really difficult fight.
“He is an amazing fighter. We were both tired but it gave me confidence because I could hear him breathing heavily and he doesn’t normally get tired.
“So, I thought ‘I have got this’ let’s keep pushing.”
Sinden reached the world semi-finals for a second successive edition by knocking out Belgium’s Si Mohamed Ketbi.
The Yorkshire star was heading for another points gap win when his opponent was disqualified for amassing too many penalty points.
Sinden started his campaign, conceding only one point in beating Belarus’s Ali Radwan 25-1.
In his last 16, Sinden was involved in one of the highest scoring contests of the championships to date beating Arven Alcantara 55-34.
Fellow Doncaster fighter Mason Yarrow reached the last eight at -54kg on his senior world championship debut.
He enjoyed two excellent early wins before losing to South Korea’s Jun-Seo Bae who will contest tomorrow’s final against Russian Georgy Popov.
“He is a good fighter but I wasn’t good enough,” said Yarrow after his points gap defeat
“The first round just took the match out of my hands. I let him dictate the match instead of focusing on my game.
“After that, I started to open up a little more and began to get caught.
“It was an amazing experience but it’s just so disappointing it came to an end like this.
“I am still young and there are a lot of tournaments ahead. So, hopefully, I can do better next time.”
Yarrow made his senior bow by knocking out 2019 African Championship bronze medallist, Amine Elharmazi of Morocco 33-13. He followed up with a 26-4 win against Egyptian Moaz Nabil.
*Tickets for the exciting event are still available for purchase on kickingforglory.com, don’t miss out on the chance to see the World’s best in action on home soil before the Tokyo 2020 Games.
-63kg: Josh Calland (Liverpool)
-68kg: Bradly Sinden (Doncaster)
-74kg: Christian McNeish (Plaistow)
-80kg: Damon Sansum (Elgin)
-87kg: Lutalo Muhammad (Walthamstow)
+87kg: Mahama Cho (Stockwell)
-49kg: Maddison Moore (Blakedown)
-53kg: Aaliyah Powell (Huddersfield)
-57kg: Jade Jones (Flint)
-62kg: No selection
-67kg: Lauren Williams (Blackwood)
Friday GB schedule:
Maddison Moore (-49kg), Jade Jones (-57kg), Christian McNeish (-74kg), plus Bradly Sinden (-68kg), Bianca Walkden (+73kg)
Rebecca McGowan’s taekwondo senior World Championship debut didn’t end with a medal in Manchester today (Wednesday) but with plenty of optimism for the future.
The 18-year-old from Dumbarton was one of three Scots in action on the opening day of the first taekwondo worlds ever staged in the UK.
She then showed her potential to a home audience by knocking out 2017 world bronze medallist, Reshmie Oogink of the Netherlands, en route to the quarter-finals.
However, teenager McGowan’s bid for the semi-finals of the -73kg event ended in disappointment against South Korea’s Da-bin Lee.
The Asian star defeated Britain’s double world champion, Bianca Walkden, to win the 2018 Taoyuan Grand Prix. And the 22-year-old proved too strong for her opponent.
“I didn’t fight my best,” said McGowan after a 28-2 loss. “But it’s also positive to know I can beat top girls like Oogink.
“I can take plenty away to go and work on and improve. But it was a really good experience fighting in front of friends and family, “added McGowan who defeated Oogink 20-13 and Columbia’s Laura Ayala 18-3.
Last year Jordyn Smith won the junior world championship title and fighting at -46kg was the lightest member of the GB squad.
She came up against Mahla Momenzadeh of Iran who beat her 16-7 at the 2018 Youth Olympics qualifying tournament.
“I started strongly and took the lead quite early,” she explained. “And the following two round I should have put her under more pressure but possibly stood off her too much.
“I’m disappointed because I wanted to do well for my family, teammates and crowd who were right behind me. The noise was incredible when I went out to fight.
“But it is all a learning curve and there are things I can take back into training and focus on for the next tournament-the Grand Prix in Rome.”
Hassan Haider, appearing at his second senior world championship received bye in round one before tackling Yeldos Yskak of Kazakhstan in the last 32.
Dropping five of the first round’s seven points, he battled back to win the second but eventually lost the contest 21-12.
“I feel like I lost it in the first round,” said Haider who will return to action at next month’s Austrian Open.
“Mentally, I was switched on but perhaps I was a bit overwhelmed and he had the momentum.
“When I calmed down I got back into it but just couldn’t carry it forward.
“I got close but even the way I chased wasn’t ideal. I could have done it a lot better.
“In the end, I was probably thinking about too many different things. As soon as I realised what I could do it was good but I just didn’t do enough.”
Three years ago Manchester made a successful bid to host taekwondo’s 2019 World Championships.
Now the wait is almost over and nearly 1,000 athletes representing 150 nations will compete in 16 weight divisions from May 15-19 at the iconic Manchester Arena.
There will be one additional team – a squad drawn from refugee athletes – fighting under the World Taekwondo banner.
Of the 975 fighters listed to take part, none will receive a louder welcome than hosts Great Britain fielding a squad of experienced, multi-medal winning athletes and up and coming prospects already with one eye towards Olympic qualification at Paris 2024.
So, will double Olympic gold medallist, Jade Jones, secure a first world title or can Bianca Walkden win three in a row?
There has never been a British able-bodied male world champion but Lutalo Muhammad, Bradly Sinden, Christian McNeish, Damon Sansum and Mahama Cho all have chances of achieving that honour.
In 2017, British competitors collected a record five medals at the 2017 World Championships, two more than 2015 and one more than 2011 when current GB coaches, Michael Harvey and Martin Samper were among the medal winners.
“The squad is a great combination of experienced, in-form, new and developing athletes, all super excited to be taking part in a historic World Championships in their own back yard,” said GB Taekwondo Performance Director Gary Hall.
“We believe we have a strong squad to do it justice. If they all hit form it should be a great championship for GB Taekwondo.
“We have a target of three to five medals and we feel we are capable of winning three to five.”
Britain’s first three athletes in action on day one of the championships will also be flying the flag for Scotland: Hassan Haider (-58kg), compatriot Jordyn Smith (-46kg) and Rebecca McGowan (-73kg).
And the hosts have enjoyed a successful build-up to the tournament. On Monday, Manchester was confirmed as host for a Grand Prix event in 2021 and the 2023 Grand Prix final.
Interaction across all social media platforms, including athlete accounts, has topped one million while GB Chair, Julia Newton, has received a plaque of appreciation from World Taekwondo president Chungwon Choue for dedicated service and contribution to the successful organisation of the Championships.
Additionally, GB Taekwondo resident psychologist, Sarah Broadhead and Performance Lifestyle Advisor, Natalie Vickers successfully presented at the World Taekwondo Conference.
They discussed GB Taekwondo’s Mental Health Project (#MindMeMindU2) and how they’re working to stop the stigma for both staff and athletes in the organisation.
Tickets to the event are still available to purchase, head on over to kickingforglory.com to buy yours now!
Manchester will be the host city in 2023 when the UK stages the World Taekwondo Grand Prix finals for the first time.
The sport’s world governing body confirmed the news and the award of a Grand Prix round in 2021 at the World Taekwondo Council meeting today. (Monday)
The decisions have been greeted with pride and enthusiasm by GB Taekwondo officials less than two days before the planet’s best athletes arrive at Manchester Arena for the 2019 World Championships (May 15-19).
Manchester also hosted a round of the 2018 Grand Prix.
The end of year Grand Prix final is one of taekwondo’s most prestigious tournaments with former winners including British trio: Jade Jones, Lutalo Muhammad and Bianca Walkden.
Cancun, Mexico has been awarded the 2020 Grand Prix Final.
World Taekwondo President Chungwon Choue said: “We are delighted to partner with Cancun and Manchester to host our future World Taekwondo Grand Prix events.
“Mexico and the UK are two great taekwondo nations and we have excellent experience of working with them to deliver fantastic events for our athletes and fans.
“We have no doubt the Grand Prix in 2020, 2021 and 2023 will be no different.”
Matt Archibald, GB Taekwondo’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “I’m delighted to announce the World Taekwondo Council have awarded us a Grand Prix in 20201 and the 2023 Grand Prix Finals.
“It is a great indication of their confidence in GBTKD and our partners, UK Sport, British Taekwondo and Manchester City Council.”
Julia Newton, chair of GB Taekwondo, said: “This is great news and a real confidence boost so close to the World Championships.
“This type of success is built on the years and years of hard work of athletes, staff, partners and supporters of GBTKD. It’s a great credit to everyone and a real seal of approval.
Following the Council meeting, President Choue attended the Head of Team Meeting to wish the athletes the best of luck for the upcoming World Championships.
Hosts GB Taekwondo have announced Korean heritage brand, Doosan Industrial Vehicles UK, as an official sponsor for the 2019 World Taekwondo Championship in Manchester (May 15-19).
Doosan produced their first forklift truck in 1968 and for 51 years has met customers’ needs for quality material handling supplies and services.
Doosan, who have become as synonymous as taekwondo with Korea – the sport’s spiritual home – now supply forklifts to over 90 countries and have become a preferred supplier to many of the world’s leading fleet users.
The World Taekwondo Championships has never previously been held in the UK.
But with Mancunian trained stars, including 2012 and 2016 Olympic champion, Jade Jones and twice world champion, Bianca Walkden taking part there is plenty for home fans to cheer.
The action can be seen on the BBC Red Button, BBC Sport website and BT Sport. Coverage will also include a highlights show on BBC2 on May 20th from 2.30pm-4pm.
The event is also expected to attract significant international coverage in European and Asian markets.
Matt Archibald, Chief Executive Officer for GB Taekwondo, said: “We are delighted Doosan have chosen to support the World Taekwondo Championships to showcase their Korean heritage and values.
“We look forward to starting what we hope will be a long-term partnership with the team at Doosan.”
David Clarkson, CEO of Doosan Industrial Vehicles UK commented “We’re very proud to become a sponsor of GB Taekwondo, who share not only a Korean heritage like ourselves but also similar values such as teamwork, commitment, integrity and spirit.”
He also adds “On a recent visit to the National Performance Centre, we were able to see first-hand the sheer hard work and dedication that the team are putting into achieving their personal and collective team goals of becoming world leaders in Taekwondo.
“This mirrors perfectly how Doosan are committed to becoming the UK’s leading forklift truck manufacturer through hard work and continuous development of their people. We hope that this will be the start of a very positive and rewarding long-term partnership.”
Doosan’s machines offer simple, powerful and performance as well as operator comfort and environmental friendliness, that help you to get the most from your investment.
Doosan’s UK presence was established in 1994, and their range covers more than 100 models of forklift truck and warehouse equipment in total, spanning 1.0 – 25.0-tonnes with electric, gas and diesel powered options.