Tokyo 2020: Lauren Williams reflects on surreal Olympic experience

Welsh taekwondo fighter Lauren Williams admits winning a silver medal at the Olympic Games is only now sinking in.

Williams took silver in the women's -67kg competition at Tokyo 2020 after losing the final bout to Croatia's Matea Jelic.

The 22-year-old was making her Olympic debut having been inspired by compatriot Jade Jones winning gold at London 2012.

"It's not sunk in at all," Williams told BBC Radio Wales Sport.

"The way it was set up it felt very much like a normal competition. We weren't allowed to have the whole athletes' village experience, we were in a hotel.

"So it was hotel, venue and then home within 48 hours so I haven't had the chance to process what actually happened.

"Holding the medal and looking at it, it doesn't feel any different to a normal medal but when I see it in the media, it's like wow and it's the medal that I've actually worked long for.

"For example there are posters around the place with Olympic medallists and when I see pictures of me it's like 'oh my gosh, I've got one of those' - it's quite surreal."

Williams' family celebrate silver medal success

Williams led with 14 seconds of the final remaining before Jelic came back to snatch the gold medal.

She was reunited with her family from Blackwood at the National Taekwondo Centre in Manchester, where she has been reflecting on her achievements.

"As soon as my time was done and I could hear my opponent celebrating, my heart just dropped," Williams said.

"But something came over me and was determined not to let this moment ruin the day because I'd enjoyed every minute up to that.

"I'm just going to be happy for her because I did everything I could and didn't have any regrets other than that last 10 seconds really.

"I was determined to keep smiling, keep positive and not dwell on it and I think that's what carried me through.

"I've not done any extensive video analysis and I probably won't do that for a couple of months.

"But now it's all kind of settled it's hit me a bit more how close I was to getting the gold medal.

"While I was living in it I was distracted - I had media and had other athletes still to support and everything else was a distraction and keeping my mind occupied.

"But now I've come back I've got those lonely moments it's like 'I wish I did more' but I did what I could in that situation and I'm still happy."

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