Bianca Walkden: "I am more solid now, I like the new rules"
Bianca Walkden (liverpool, 29 September 1991) clinched her second world title of the Women’s +73 kg division last month in Muju, Korea. With only 26 years old, Walkden is also a double European champion (Montreux 2016 and
Baku 2014) in this category as well as an Olympic medallist after reaching the podium in Rio 2016.
After so many achievements in the recent years, Bianca attended WTM to talk about all these changes in her career.
Q: How does it feel to be a double world champion?
– A: It feels great. The day I won the gold medal it still hadn’t sink in, but now I am more and more happy.
Q: You looked more solid than 2 years ago in Chelyabinsk, do you agree?
– A: I was definitely more solid. After Russia, I had a reconstruction on my knees and I am in a much better shape than 2 years ago. I am also more confident, I know what I can do, I am mentally stronger.
Q: In the Final you seemed to have the match under control during the 6 minutes, was it like this?
– A: As soon as it started and I got the first two points I though “I am not letting this go”.
Q: Which was the toughest moment for you during the competition?
– A: The Semifinal against Saebom An (KOR). Fighting against the home crowd demands to be mentally swtiched on from the very beginning, you are fighting a Korean in Korea… but to be fair, it wasn’t that bad (laughs).
Q: Did you change your fighting style with the new rules?
– A: With the new rules you get more rewarded with the body shots, and I like the body shots, so it helps my game a lot more. I think the new rules are bringing a lot more action to the games, especially in the Men’s divisions.
Q: What’s next for you now?
– A: I am going on holidays now, but I will be back for the Grand Prix in Moscow really soon.
Q: What’s your opinion on the new rules?
– A: I like them, I think with time, more and more spins, kicks, and spectacular moves will be seen on the mat. This new rules will help taekwondo.
– Q: Steven Lopez and Servet Tazegul think it would be good to mix the electronic system with more authority from the officials to give or withdraw points. What fo you think about it?
– A: I think that sometimes it is really unfair, especially with the head shots. I’ve seen athletes being nailed on the face clearly with no changes on the scoreboard. The referee should be able to give these points, but in general, it is getting better.
Q: Are you excited about the Grand Slam?
– A: I can’t wait for it, it is a big change, a big opportunity for everyone in the sport. I am going to train as hard as I can, we don’t get a lot of money, so this new competition makes taekwondo bigger, better, more sponsors will be coming… it will be great to gather together with the champions of the sport. I can’t wait, I’ll love it.
Q: What’s your opinion on Team GB’s progress in the sport?
– A: We are getting better and better. Every time we go out, we give our best. We train so hard, our coaches push us to the limit… so I think we will have a strong team for Tokyo 2020 with me, Rachel, Jade, Charlie, Lauren…
Q: You have a lot of fans from the UK supporting you everywhere you go. What’s your message for them?
– A: Thank you for supporting me, I don’t realize how many people are there watching me, sending good luck messages, well done messages, even if I lost they are still there. So i just wan to say thank you. I can’t wait for the London or Manchester competittions, with the home crowd there is going to be great and we will try to put on a good show to say thank you to all of you.