Rio 2016 hopeful Bianca Walkden secured Great Britain’s first ever senior President’s Cup gold medal in Bonn tonight (Friday) as the sport’s up and coming youngsters also made their mark.
Walkden, who has cemented a heavyweight spot for Team GB in Brazil this summer, beat Serbia’s Ana Bajic in the +73kg final.
The Liverpool born world champion dropped only three points in her four contests after receiving a first round bye. But Walkden also struggled to get the score board ticking over as regularly as she usually manages.
“I felt like I was in control throughout the competition and the final,” said Walkden who returns to Europe in a fortnight for the German Open in Hamburg.
“But it was quite hard to score on the new system It’s difficult to go high because the sensors have changed.
“But overall I did well. This is all about preparation for the Olympics. Hopefully, I can keep it going and keep a winning streak on until Rio.”
Walkden is certainly in pole position to celebrate an Olympic debut in South America though the athletes to fill the four qualified weights won’t be confirmed until June.
Welsh teenager Lauren Williams also gave a good account of herself by reaching the quarter-finals of the -67kg weight division. The World Junior champion had no trouble finding the sweet spot of the sensors and plundered 17 points in her first two bouts.
Experienced French star Haby Niare, however, proved one opponent too many in the last eight; the 2013 world champion winning 11-5.
Telford’s Ryan Marlow managed a win in his first WTF event, something 2015 World Championship silver medallist, Damon Sansum, failed to do in the same -80kg event.
Former kick-boxer Marlow celebrated his breakthrough moment against Russia’s Yordan Kolev and was then unlucky in the second round against Piotr Pazinski. The scores were level after normal time and golden point before the Pole was declared the winner based on superiority.
Sansum, still with hopes of making the plane to Rio, received an opening bye before a disappointing 6-1 defeat against Arituin Meliksetiants of Russia.
Other British medallists came in the younger age groups where Simone Abley won junior gold in the -59kg division. GB Teammate Kyla Julien took bronze in same category. While Charlotte Simpson achieved success at Cadet level in the -59kg event.
Levi Goodridge (Farnborough)
Round One: bt Jose Luis Cruz Nadal (ESP) 8-4
Round Two: lost 5-3 to Aydemir Shakhbanov (RUS)
Ryan Marlow (Telford)
Round One: bt Yordan Kolev (BUL) 8-4
Round, Two: lost (on superiority) to Piotr Pazinski (POL)
Damon Sansum (Elgin)
Round Two: lost 6-1 to Arituin Meliksetiants (RUS)
Bianca Walkden (Liverpool)
Round One: Bye
Round Two: bt Ayse Asma (TUR) 2-0
Quarter Final: bt Olesya Bardachenko (RUS) 4-2
Semi Final: bt Rosana Simon (ESP) 2-1
FINAL: beat Ana Bajic (SRB) 2-0
Round One: bt Ekaterina Derbeneva (RUS) 4-2
Round, Two: bt Cecilia Castro Burgos (ESP) 13-2
Quarter Final: lost 11-5 to Haby Niare (FRA)