World Taekwondo Championships: Bianca Walkden wins gold in +73kg category in South Korea

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Walkden wins historic second World Championship crown
World Taekwondo Championships
Venue: T1 Arena, Muju, South Korea Dates: 24-30 June
Coverage: BBC Red Button, connected TV and online

Bianca Walkden has become the first British fighter to successfully defend a World Taekwondo Championships title.

The heavyweight, 25, beat USA's Jackie Galloway 14-4 in the +73kg category to seal victory in South Korea on Wednesday, which follows her maiden world gold in Russia in 2015.

Mahama Cho progressed to the men's heavyweight semi-finals to secure at least a bronze for Great Britain.

GB's Lutalo Muhammad suffered a second-round exit in the -87kg division.

Liverpool's Walkden made Wednesday's final after an impressive 9-3 defeat of home favourite Saebom An in the semi-final earlier in the day.

And she successfully defended her world title with a comprehensive victory over USA's Olympic bronze medallist Galloway.

Walkden driven by Rio devastation

Walkden was a bronze medallist at the 2016 Rio Olympics, beating Morocco's Wiam Dislam to win her +67kg bout.

But she was unlucky to miss out on the gold-medal match having lost 4-1 to China's Zheng Shuyin in a golden-point round.

"To be honest it hasn't sunk in, I'm just so happy," she told BBC Sport following her second world title.

"I played it down more than I thought I would and came out into the final and was thinking 'this is just the gym, I'll just try and kick everyone' like I do in practice.

"I was devastated after the Rio Olympics and it still burns me now and that has to be my goal for the future - to keep winning worlds, but to get that gold in Tokyo."

Cho into semi-finals

Mahama Cho
Mahama Cho was born in the Ivory Coast but moved to the UK as a child

Rio Olympian Cho beat Iran's Sajjad Mardani 14-1 in the quarter-finals and has now secured the first major medal of his career - with the colour yet to be decided.

The 27-year-old, who lost the +80kg bronze medal match at Rio 2016, saw off 2013 World silver medallist Mardani to progress to the semi-finals.

"I had one job to do today and that's what I've done," he said.

"I'm really happy with the performance but I'm not done yet and I want that gold tomorrow.

"That major medal has been a long time waiting so it's just nice to be in this position. I'm going to come back with the same mind frame and play the game right."

Shock defeat for Muhammad

Olympic silver medallist Muhammad, 26, was beaten 6-21 by Kazakh Asian Championships silver medallist Smaiyl Duisebay in the -87kg division.

Muhammad was competing in his first event since his last-minute defeat in the -80kg final at Rio 2016 having taken a post-Games break for knee surgery.

As with previous major events outside the Olympics, Muhammad was competing in the heavier non-Olympic -87kg division.

He had looked strong in a convincing 36-1 defeat of Grenada fighter Fronzie Charles in the opening round, but was unable to avenge last year's agonising defeat in Rio.

Elsewhere Briton Jade Slavin was beaten in the last 16 by Mexico's Maria Espinoza on golden point in the -73kg category.

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