Lauren Williams: European Taekwondo champion pressured to keep winning
European Taekwondo champion Lauren Williams says she feels under pressure to keep up her winning record.
The 18-year-old, who is from Blackwood, took home gold at Saturday's German Open in Hamburg, Germany.
Williams performend well and won the -67kg division taking an impressive 112 points from just four fights.
"At the Euros nobody really expected me to medal. I just tried my best but now there's added pressure to perform," Williams told BBC Wales Sport.
"The German Open was vital for me as I needed points to go to the Grand Prix. Winning gold really was a big bonus.
"I've medalled consistently at competitions. I feel I have to maintain that reputation and keep medalling at these competitions but I try to not think about it too much and put my best into everything.
"The high scorings make it more exciting. Being able to pull off matches with high scores is a massive bonus as it shows the kicks I'm throwing are working and it's given me confidence to throw high-scoring kicks."
Williams first considered taking up taekwondo after watching fellow Welsh fighter Jade Jones win gold at London 2012.
She now trains alongside Jones with the British squad in Manchester and says the double Olympic champion is a great inspiration.
"It's amazing to train with Jade herself. Jade and Bianca [Walkden] are both Olympic medallists," Williams continued.
"To be able to train with them everyday and really push myself gives me great confidence that when I do go out into the ring and fight, they're not going to be much better than Jade and Bianca, so it's a massive confidence boost
"My next big aim is the senior World Championships. I'm hoping to be selected for that. If I can medal at that competition it will put me in a really good place and make qualifying for the Olympics a bit more accomplishable."