World Taekwondo Grand Prix: Lauren Williams secures stunning Grand Prix gold

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GB's Lauren Williams wins World Grand Prix

British fighter Lauren Williams claimed a breakthrough World Taekwondo Grand Prix title on a brilliant day for the GB team in London.

The 18-year-old, who is a two-time world junior champion, defeated Ivory Coast's former senior world champion Ruth Gbagbi 43-23 in the -67kg final.

"It's such a big competition, I'm lost for words," she told BBC Sport.

Team-mate Bradly Sinden claimed -68kg silver and GB heavyweight Mahama Cho took +80kg bronze.

Williams defeated Rabia Gulec of Germany in her opening round before securing an impressive golden-point victory over world number one and reigning world champion Nur Tatar of Turkey in the quarter-finals.

The Welsh teenager then powered past American Paige McPherson, who won bronze at London 2012, in the semi-finals before defeating Gbagbi.

"I didn't put anyone above me and I knew I could beat them, but having my family here today certainly helped," she said. "It's the first time I've enjoyed a competition and I've smiled all day."

Lauren Williams, Bradly Sinden and Mahama Cho pose with their medals at the World Taekwondo Grand Prix
Bradly Sinden, Lauren Williams and Mahama Cho pose with their medals at the World Taekwondo Grand Prix

Sinden is also enjoyed an impressive first full season as a senior fighter having landed world bronze in the non-Olympic -63kg category in June.

The 19-year-old showed no discomfort stepping up to the Olympic -68kg division, beating two-time world gold medallist and London 2012 Olympic champion Joel Gonzalez Bonilla of Spain 16-9 in the semi-finals.

He controlled much of the final against Rio Olympic gold medallist Ahmad Abughaush but the Jordanian struck with a decisive kick in the closing seconds of sudden death to claim the title.

"The gold could have been mine, it's just those three seconds that cost me, but it's been a good day and I'll learn from that," Sinden told BBC Sport.

World Championship silver medallist Cho eased past opponents from Kazakhstan and Germany in the opening rounds, but lost 8-5 in the heavyweight semi-finals to Russian Rafail Aiukaev.

"It would have been nice to have a gold medal, but I tried out a few new tactics and I'm coming back for that title at the Grand Prix final," said the fighter, who will compete at that event in Ivory Coast in December.

Saturday's action will see double Olympic champion Jade Jones compete in the -57kg division, while two-time world champion Bianca Walkden will look to secure her third successive Grand Prix title with victory in the +67kg category.

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