European Taekwondo Games: Bianca Walkden and Lauren Williams win gold medals

By Nick HopeBBC Olympic sports reporter
Bianca Walkden
Bianca Walkden won bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympics

World champion Bianca Walkden added another major title to her collection with heavyweight gold at the European Taekwondo Games in Bari, Italy.

Britain's Walkden, 28, beat Germany's Lorena Brandl 22-7 in the final.

Compatriot Lauren Williams, 20, claimed -67kg gold after opponent Magda Wiet Henin of France pulled out injured while trailing 32-14.

The Welsh athlete's victory should be enough to secure Britain a place in the division at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

"I'm over the moon to win another title," Walkden, who has also won European Championship, Grand Slam and Grand Prix golds, told BBC Sport.

The event in Bari was created after taekwondo was left out of the line-up for the second edition of the multi-sport European Games in Belarus earlier this year.

"It was really disappointing that taekwondo wasn't included in the multi-sport event," added Walkden, who won bronze at Rio 2016.

"But I'm glad we still had a competition and it's all experience ahead of the Olympics where I'm hoping to do bigger and better things."

Jones back to form with silver

Double Olympic champion Jade Jones - who won gold at the maiden European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan, four years ago - demonstrated a return to form by securing -57kg silver.

It followed her surprise opening-round defeat at last month's World Taekwondo Grand Prix in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Britain's first-ever male world taekwondo champion Bradly Sinden also claimed silver and he is now assured of qualifying Britain a place in the -68kg division in Tokyo.

Rio Olympian Mahama Cho suffered a blow in his bid to secure Britain a place in the men's Olympic heavyweight division after a quarter-final elimination.

He will have a final opportunity via the World Taekwondo Grand Prix final in Moscow, Russia, next month.

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