GB’s Walkden wins taekwondo title as disqualified Zheng left in tears | - South Africa News

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Zheng Shuyin of China was left distraught on the podium

Bianca Walkden secured her third successive World taekwondo title after a controversial finish to the women’s heavyweight final in Manchester.

Walkden trailed 20-10 in the closing stages of the +73kg final but Chinese Olympic champion Zheng Shuyin was disqualified for a series of penalties.

Booing drowned out cheers as Britain’s Walkden was announced the winner.

Bradly Sinden became Britain’s first male world taekwondo champion, beating Spain’s Javier Perez Polo 24-21.

Sinden, 20, closed out the -68kg final but while his contest was tense, Walkden’s ended in controversy with Zheng left in tears on the podium.

Walkden tried to console her rival but China’s Zheng initially refused to accept

The victory follows World Championship wins in the same weight division in 2015 and 2017 for Walkden who is now Britain’s most successful World Championship fighter, eclipsing the two titles won by the now retired Sarah Stevenson in 2001 and 2011.

“I went out there needing to find a different way to win and a win is a win if you disqualify someone – it’s not my fault,” said Liverpool’s Walkden, 27.

“People can have their opinions but I’m standing here as world champion. I wouldn’t change it for the world – I would go out and do exactly the same thing again.”

Walkden held a slender two-point lead after a cagey opening round but Zheng’s relentless accuracy gave her a seemingly unassailable 10-point advantage after round two.

But Walkden’s tactics, which predominantly involved forcing Zheng out of the ring to rack up the penalty points – ultimately paid off in dramatic fashion.

In the women’s -57kg division, Jade Jones moved closer to her first world title with a semi-final victory over Canada’s Skylar Park

A flurry of body shots in the final five seconds sealed a tight 18-12 triumph for Jones, the double Olympic champion, over Canadian teenager Park.

Jones, who has won silver and bronze medals in previous World Championships, will get her chance to complete her collection of major golds in the final on Saturday against defending world champion Lee Ah-reum from South Korea.

Walkden leapt for joy as she became a three-time world champion
Shuyin Zheng of China was left distraught on the podium
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