Sarah Stevenson wins World Championship gold medal

By Nick HopeBBC Olympic sports reporter

Sarah Stevenson has won her third Taekwondo World Championships title by beating China's Guo Yunfei in the -67kg category in Gyeongju, South Korea.

The 28-year-old is competing for the first time this year after a break to care for her critically ill parentsexternal-link.

"I was so close to not coming because I didn't want to leave my parents alone," she said.

Jade Jones and Martin Stamper have won at least bronze in their categories in Britain's best result at the event.

"My family came together to help and I went out there to win it for them. This is an amazing feeling," added an emotional Stevenson after her victory.

The scores were tied at 3-3 after the regulation rounds and an additional sudden-death period.

That meant it was down to the referee, who deemed Stevenson the more 'pro-active' fighter in the final round and so took the title.

Her success comes 10 years after she became the first British woman to win a World Championship crown, a victory also in Korea.

"I think of all my successes this is the one that means the most because it's been such a tough build-up, but what I've been through is nothing compared to my parents," Stevenson told BBC Sport.

"I'm just so pleased though that I've come through it with the gold."

The Doncaster-born fighter defeated former World and current Olympic champion Hwang Kyung-seon in the semi-finals and Great Britain performance director Gary Hall was understandably delighted with Stevenson's achievements.

"Sarah is an inspiration to us all," Hall reflected. "To achieve what she has with everything that's gone on.

"She is a true champion and to have her in the team is an amazing boost to all the fighters because she has that spirit and drive which can only help others around her."

Youth Olympic champion Jones (-57kg) only made the step-up to the senior scene this year and is appearing in her first major World Championships.

After attaining three medals in her first two open events (in the USA and Germany), the 18-year-old secured another honour in Korea after defeating the much fancied world number five Veronica Calabrese in the final 32, before victories over Rumeysa Sila Olcek and then Senegal's Bineta Diedhiou in the quarter-final.

"As I was fighting today I didn't know if I was going to get time to see Sarah Stevenson in action, but I managed it and after seeing what she did it just made me more determined get out there and win a medal," Jones stated.

"To get a bronze is great, but I'll be coming back for more tomorrow!"

Martin Stamper from Liverpool is another fighter-in-form after claiming both the US and German Open titles earlier this year.

He continued his domination of the -68kg category on day three and rarely looked threatened en route to the quarter-finals, where he defeated Christopher Dubois of France 11-1.

Both Jones and Stamper will return on Wednesday for their semi-final matches.