Welsh Fight Duo Jade Jones And Lauren Williams Set To Defend Euro Crowns

Jade Jones will bit for a third Olympic Games gold this summer. Pic: Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP via Getty Images

Welsh Fight Duo Jade Jones And Lauren Williams Set To Defend Euro Crowns

By Gareth James

Reigning European Taekwondo champions Jade Jones and Lauren Williams will defend their titles in Bulgaria in April.

The Welsh duo have been named in a 15-strong squad for the first of three major tournament’s this year in Sofia (8-11 April).

As well as the delayed Olympics in Japan this summer the world championships are set to be held in China in October.

Flint fighter Jones is also the reigning Olympic and world champ and will be using the championships as part off her build-up to an historic Games gold in Tokyo this summer.

Gwent-born Williams will be joining her in a bid for a third Euro crown in a GB squad that is a mix of the sport’s big hitters and young hopefuls.

Performance Director, Gary Hall, said: “Our GB teams seem to get stronger.

“We have a great blend of some of the most experienced and best fighters on the planet with some new, developing and exciting young talent,.

“This is the biggest event of 2021 so far but we have a unique year ahead with the Olympic Games and World Championships.

“However, this event carries significant ranking points so athletes and staff are focused on winning as much as possible in terms of silverware but also to accumulate as many points as possible.”

Newport’s Lauren Williams, like teammate Jade Jones, will be gunning for a third Euro title in Sofia.

Meaningful competitions have been few and far between during the 12-month long coronavirus pandemic but there have been yardsticks to guide the selection panel.

“It has been tough,” agreed Hall. “But over the last three or four months we have done well to get in some decent competition and training camps in the UK, which have helped see where we are at.

“We are really grateful to the DCMS, Public Health England, Manchester City Council, UK Sport and GLL for helping us do this in a safe manner.

“Most recently, of course, we competed in Bulgaria (Sofia Open) and have fought in Croatia and Bosnia at the back-end of last year.

“So, we have some relevant and informed data. We could have done with more but we have got to pick off what information we have.

“We have a strong group of selectors and have made the best decisions possible to try and win the best set of medals possible.”

GB Taekwondo won seven medals at the 2018 Euros including golds for Jones, Williams and Christian McNeish who steps up from -68kg to -74kg this time.

The squad is as follows:


-54kg: Joshua Long (Spennymoor)

-58kg: Mason Yarrow (Doncaster)

– 63kg: Mohammed Nour (Wandsworth, London)

-68kg: Bradly Sinden (Doncaster)

-74kg: Christian McNeish (Plaistow, London)

-80kg: Josh Calland (Knowsley)

-87kg: Caden Cunningham (Huddersfield)

+87Kg: Mahama Cho (Stockwell, London)


-49kg: Maddison Moore (Blakedown)

-53kg: Jodie McKew (Dollingstown, Craigavon)

-57kg: Jade Jones (Flint)

-62kg: Chloe Roberts (Stoke)

-67kg: Lauren Williams (Newport, Gwent)

-73 kg: Rebecca McGowan (Dumbarton)

+73 kg: Bianca Walkden (Liverpool)


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