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Achab: “I need my best performance to reclaim gold”

Achab: “I need my best performance to reclaim gold”

World and European champion Jaouad Achab (Belgium) talks to WTM hours before his debut at Manchester 2019 World Championships.

How do you arrive to Manchester in terms of fitness?

Good, good, we’ve been here in England for one week now training in Huddersfield and trying to adapt to the country. The preparation has been good so let’s see what happens in the coming days.

Your goal is to recover the gold medal you won in Chelyabinks 2015 and lost in Muju 2017?

Yes, I can only promise I will do my very best for it, it is not going to be easy, of course, because there are many amazing fighters, some of the young ones are also coming now and putting the top ten at risk, but I will do my best to win the title again. I need my best perfomance to reclaim gold, that is for sure.

Which are the toughest opponents you will have to face?

In our class, everybody can be dangerous. Also, here in Manchester, many under 58 kg favorites lost in their fist match of the competition, so that means I need to be ready since the first fight. Of course, there are some fighters which are more dagerous than others, but I will focus on give my best against every opponent.

Jaouad Achab at Chelyabinsk 2015 World Taekwondo Championships
Achab at Chelyabinsk 2015 World Championships

Does the seeds here at the World Championships help in any way?

It helps a little bit, number 1, 2, 3 and 4 start the competition on different sides of the draw, but people who are not seeds and have no apparent relevance on the ranking can beat any top ten. Many surprises can happen, having no ranking or having a low one doesn’t mean you don’t have any chance to win a medal.

What is your opinion on the Manchester Arena for the event?

It is amazing, very big and it looks so professional, let’s see how it feels from inside now, I will do my best to perform at the right level at this arena.

What are the medal chances for the Belgian team here?

I can’t say anything about this because anything can happen, anyone can win a medal, good preparation, work hard, very best, results will follow.


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