Bianca Walkden from Liverpool, England is a member of the GB Taekwondo Academy. She added to her British Open and Combat Games titles with a 6-0 victory over her rival and local favourite Anne Caroline Graffe in a one-sided +67kg final.
The Liverpudlian, who has risen to No 2 in the world this year, gave a confident display as she progressed smoothly through each round and it seemed that a victory in Paris was never in doubt.
“That’s three down and one to go. To win in Paris after getting gold in Beijing and again at the British is fantastic and I now want to finish the year in style by winning in Moscow next month,” Walkden said.
While Britain won four medals in Paris, Walkden claimed Britain‘s only gold.
It seemed performance director Gary Hall was right to play down expectations of Aaron Cook prior to the event, with the highly rated teenager claiming a creditable silver after returning from a break in competition.
Cook, one of the ‘Telegraph 10 for London 2012’ was visibly disappointed after falling just short against Ramin Azizov of Azerbaijan, going down 9-6 in the -80kg final.
Mahama Cho also picked up silver and though he failed to retain his +80kg title, eventually losing 6-2 against Ali Sari of Turkey, he will take heart from a storming run to the final that also saw him beat team-mate Damon Sansum in the semis.
Cho said: “The target was to retain the title but sometimes you’ve got to lose to learn and hopefully next time I’ll do a better job. It was fun taking on Damon in the semi-final and I’m sure he’ll be gunning for me when we next meet.”
Sansum, a former kick-boxing world champion who graduated from the Fighting Chance programme, showed his potential with his first senior medal.
He said: “It’s a big achievement to get a medal after only around six months with the team. I wanted to do this and didn’t know how realistic it would be to medal but I pulled it out of the bag.”
Jade Jones, the Youth Olympics champion and nominee for BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year, battled through to the quarter-finals before meeting her match in the experienced Croat, Martina Zubcic.
Gary Hall, Sport Taekwondo UK’s Performance Director said: “Overall I’m delighted with the team’s performance and the progress that is being made, as demonstrated both in Manchester and again here in Paris.
“Bianca’s win shows how confident she is after success earlier in the year and I’m particularly pleased for Damon and the Talent squad. We showed ambition in launching the Fighting Chance programme earlier this year and that decision has been vindicated by the performances here this weekend.
“Damon especially hasn’t had long to make the transition from kick-boxing to top class taekwondo but has real potential and we’re all proud of his achievement.”
Paris Open 2012 complete results
Seniors Female A -49
1. SING, IRIS BRA
2. LAURA, URRIOLA ATECA ESP
3. ARAKAKI, KATIA LE BRÉSIL BRA
3. LAURA, LORENZO AMOEDO ESP
Seniors Female A -57
1. GORBACHEVA, DARIA RUS
2. ANDREA, RICA TABOADA ESP
3. FRÖMMING, ANNA-LENA GER
3. ARAUJO, RAFAELA BRA
Seniors Female A -67
1. GRAFFE, ANNE CAROLINE FRA
2. KLAEY, NINA SUI
3. KRZEMIENIECKA, ALEKSANDRA POL
3. SANTOS, JULIA BRA
Seniors Female A +67
1. WALKDEN, BIANCA GBR
2. ROSANNA, SIMON ALAMO ESP
3. WEISS, KATHARINA GER
3. AN, SAE BOM KOR
Seniors Male A -58
1. JOSE LUIS, MENDEZ JIMENEZ ESP
2. ACHAB, JAOUAD BEL
3. JOSE FRANCISCO, RAMIREZ ROLD ESP
3. FURET, FLAVIEN FRA
Seniors Male A -68
1. DANIEL, QUESADA BARRERA ESP
2. CHIN, RAIHAU FRA
3. COSTA, NUNO LE PORTUGAL POR
3. GAYLE, JORDAN GBR
Seniors Male A -80
1. GÜLEC, TAHIR GER
2. ÜNLÜSOY, GER
3. MUNIER, MICKAËL FRA
3. RICHARDS, RUEBYN GBR
Seniors Male A +80
1. CHO, MAHAMA FRA
2. FELIZ, GUILHERME BRA
3. EL YAZIDI, OMAR FRA
3. N’DIAYE, M’BAR FRA
Source: The Telegraph