Walkden crowned European champion as Muhammad bags bronze

03 May 2014 / 10:57

Bianca Walkden insists she well and truly has the taste for it now after being crowned European champion in Baku.

The 22-year-old Brit claimed her first ever European Championship gold in style, beating world title holder Olga Ivanova in the +73kg final to be crowned champion.

Walkden, who was seeded number three, beat Russian Ivanova 6-2 in the showpiece and has already turned her attentions to repeating the trick at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

“It’s amazing to be European champion," she said. “I could always win Open events. I reckon it's 16 and counting. However, I could never do it at a major until now.

“And because I've beaten the world number one in the final, comfortably, I am buzzing.

“I had a really good Polish girl (Aleksandra Kowalczuk) in the quarter-final but was losing 2-1 going into the last 20 seconds.

"But I just thought ‘I’m not losing this' and I attacked and won 8-2. I was comfortable in my semi-final as I was in the final.

“Hopefully, I can get a lot more gold medals at a major but it’s step-by-step.

"I want to take all this in and then start collecting enough ranking points to get to Rio 2016. I want to have another gold medal around my neck in two years time.”

And Great Britain’s tally in Baku sits at three as world number one Lutalo Muhammad claimed -87kg bronze.

The London Olympian had hoped to defend his title but couldn’t get past fifth seed and world bronze medallist Radik Isaev – the Azerbaijani athlete winning their semi-final 13-5.

Elsewhere, Britain's two other competitors, Georgia Barnes (-49kg) and Dominic Brookes (-58kg) finished outside the medals with Brookes losing on golden point.

© Sportsbeat 2014