Lauren Williams was hoping to make it a hat-trick of titles but had to settle for silver.

Lauren Williams Happy With Silver Lining At Sofia Euros As She Turns Her Focus To Tokyo

By Gareth James

Lauren Williams is switching her focus towards the Tokyo Olympics after narrowly losing her European Taekwondo crown after a hard-fought battle in Sofia.

The Gwent fighter lost out 13-10 to Croatia’s Matea Jelic 13-10 in the -67kg category having battled through an injury-hit build-up to the championships.

Williams was hoping to make it a golden double for Wales with Jade Jones having triumphed in the -57kg category on Friday.

She was also hoping to emulate Jones by claiming a hat-trick of titles following her victories in Montreux in 2016 and Kazan in 2018.

“For the first 10 minutes or so after losing I was gutted,” said Williams.

“But I am really proud of myself for getting this far and for what I have achieved.

“My preparation was far from ideal but I still made the final and got major experience again under my belt.

“So, I am happy and content with what I have done. And there is so much more to work on which I am excited about.”

Williams, who has qualified a spot at the Olympics in Tokyo, had booked her place in the final with a 18-8 victory over Turkey’s former world champ and double Olympic silver medallist Nur Tatar in the semi-final.

The 22-year-old had guaranteed herself a medal after overcoming Farida Azizova from Azerbaijan 16-12 in the quarter-final.

Williams opened her campaign in the Bulgarian capital by beating Denmark’s Jasmin Andersen 26-15.

“I came for gold but on reflection, I am more than happy,” she added.

“But I didn’t get to the ring alone. So, a huge thanks to my coach Mike Harvey and the guys you don’t see from strength and conditioning, physio and the psych team at GB Taekwondo. They were a massive support in the lead up to these championships.

“Now, it is time to go back, rest up and hit the ground running for the one when it really matters.”



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