Williams celebrates with her gold medal in London.

Williams Rocks The Box To Strike Grand Prix Gold

Lauren Williams produced the biggest win of her career as she struck gold at the World Taekwondo Grand Prix in London.

The ‘Blackwood Belter’ beat reigning world champ Nur Tatar and a former world champ in Ruth Gbagbi at the Copper Box Arena.

Williams is a two-time world junior champion and the European senior champ but this win shows she should be one of Britain’s medal hopes at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

The 18-year-old said: “That means so much to me because it is such a big competition.

“I beat some top girls along the way and I am lost for words to be honest.

“I was on it all day and that’s the first time, I think, I have enjoyed a competition. What worked for me was I didn’t put any of the other girls above me.

“I just focussed on my own game plan and it worked.”

Williams had missed out on a medal in the her only other Grand Prix appearance in Moscow but this time she rocked the Box in the -67kg division.

In the final she triumphed with a crushing 43-23 victory over shell-shocked Ivory Coast rival Gbabgi to pick up the $5,000 winner’s prize.

Williams had beaten London 2012 bronze medallist Paige McPherson 32-26 in the semi-final.

In the quarter-finals she stunned reigning world champ Tatar from Turkey to win with a golden point.

And Williams hammered Germany’s Rabia Guelec 23-8 in the first round with a ruthless nine-minute display by the former kickboxing champ.

Williams had lived in her caravan with her Mum when she first joined the GB academy in Manchester because she was too young to live by herself in a flat.

But that dedication is paying off as she begins the journey to Tokyo.

 

“It’s such a big competition, I’m lost for words,” added Williams.

“Having my family here certainly helped. It’s the first time I’ve enjoyed a competition and I’ve smiled all day

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