Sansum and Booth boost British medal tally at World Champs

18 May 2015 / 20:42

Great Britain ended their 2015 World Taekwondo Championships campaign on a high as both Damon Sansum and Rachelle Booth picked up medals on the final day of action in Chelyabinsk.

Sansum fell just short of becoming the first British male world gold medallist when he lost to Iranian Mehdi Khodabakhshi in the -80kg category while Booth marked her Worlds debut with a battling bronze at -62kg.

It took Great Britain’s tally for the Championships to three following Bianca Walkden’s earlier gold at +73kg – Walkden also named female athlete of the tournament.

There had been hopes of a double gold for Britain when Scot Sansum defeated Aaron Cook by golden point in the semi-finals.

But he couldn’t raise his game in his sixth and final fight of the day as Khodabakhshi, ranked number one in the Olympic rankings, emerged victorious 16-3 against a weary Sansum.

“I had a game plan but I conceded a headshot early in the fight and was well behind,” he said.

"I had to chase it but he’s very good, a very clever fighter and I started to rush.

"He used his reach really well and it was hard to get through. It wasn’t the end I’d hoped for but it’s a silver and it gives me something to build on back in training.

"I had all my fights on one day and that’s tough at this level. But I’m in good condition and can’t blame tiredness. He was just much better on the day.

“It (the semi-final) was a great fight and my tactics worked well. Aaron’s a good friend and it’s always a good fight. We both gave it everything.

"I enjoyed having a great fight with no pressure. We entertained and that’s the most important thing.”

Booth meanwhile battled through three victories before losing 6-4 against Spain’s Marta Calvo Gomez.

It was still a great achievement for the 19-year-old, who only joined the Team GB set up 18 months, and also shook off a late injury scare prior to the Championships.

“It’s one thing reaching the semis but I really wanted to go further, to reach the final and get gold and so I’m disappointed with that,” she said.

“But overall I’m satisfied with my performance. She was a tricky fighter and I’m a bit frustrated that I could get out what I wanted to do. But I tried my hardest.

“I’m going back to the gym in Manchester now and work on a few things. Hopefully perfect them before my next big competition.”

© Sportsbeat 2015