Bianca Walkden

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Bianca Walkden
Personal information
Nickname(s)Queen B
Born (1991-09-29) 29 September 1991 (age 30)
Liverpool, England
EducationFitness and Exercise Management
Life partner(s)Aaron Cook
Sport
Country Great Britain
SportTaekwondo
Weight classHeavyweight
College teamThe Manchester College
ClubLiverpool Elite Taekwondo
TeamGB Taekwondo
Achievements and titles
World finals1st (2015), (2017), (2019)
Olympic finalsBronze (2016),(2020)

Bianca Walkden (born 29 September 1991) is a British taekwondo athlete and Olympian. She is a three-time World champion, twice World Grand Prix champion, four-time European champion and a double Olympic medallist.[1][2]

Career[edit]

She represented Great Britain at 2016 Olympic Games winning a bronze medal.[3] Walkden is a triple World champion, four time European champion, and twice World Grand Prix Final champion in her division.[citation needed] In 2017 she became the first practitioner ever to win all 4 Grand Prix events in her division in a single season (having also won the one-off Grand Prix Final in London of the truncated 2016 season).[citation needed]

In May 2015, she won the gold medal in the +73kg category at the 2015 World Taekwondo Championships in Russia beating Gwladys Epangue in the final. She became only the second Briton to win a world title after Sarah Stevenson in 2001 and 2011, and the third to win a global title after Stevenson and Jade Jones' Olympic success in 2012.[4]

In June 2017, Walkden successfully defended her world title in Muju, South Korea during the 2017 Muju WTF World Taekwondo Championship.[citation needed] She beat American Jackie Galloway 14–4 in the heavyweight division.[citation needed] She joins Jade Jones as the only British practitioners to defend a global title, and becoming the only Briton to successfully defend a World title in taekwondo.[citation needed]

In May 2019, at the 2019 World Taekwondo Championships, Walkden won the women's heavyweight title after Zheng Shuyin was disqualified after attaining a 20–10 lead. Faced with Zheng's subsequent inactivity, Walkden adopted the tactic of repeatedly forcing her opponent out of the ring to raise her penalty points from seven to ten, an automatic disqualification. This resulted in boos during the result announcement and medal presentation, when Zheng fell to her knees. Great Britain performance director Gary Hall took issue with her "disrespectful manner" at the presentation.[5] Walkden defended her tactics, saying: "I went out there needing to find a different way to win and a win is a win if you disqualify someone - it's not my fault."[6]

In September 2019, at Chiba, four months after winning the controversial gold medal in Manchester, Walkden was defeated 7-5 by Zheng Shuyin.[7] In October 2019 at Sofia, Zheng Shuyin again defeated Walkden by 3–2.[8]

In 2021, she won the gold medal in the women's +73 kg event at the 2021 European Taekwondo Championships held in Sofia, Bulgaria.[9][10]

Personal life[edit]

She has been in a relationship with British-born Moldovan taekwondo fighter Aaron Cook since 2008. She has lived with fellow British taekwondo fighter, and double Olympic champion, Jade Jones, in Manchester, since 2010. The trio train almost every day at GB Taekwondo's National Taekwondo Centre.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Glean, Amelia. "Who is Bianca Walkden's boyfriend? GB star and Aaron Cook go for gold | Olympics 2016 | Sport". Express.co.uk. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Taekwondo WALKDEN Bianca - Tokyo 2020 Olympics". Olympics.com/tokyo-2020/. Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Archived from the original on 27 July 2021. Retrieved 27 July 2021.
  3. ^ "Rio Olympics 2016: Bianca Walkden wins bronze, Mahama Cho misses out". BBC Sport. 1 January 1970. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  4. ^ "Bianca Walkden is GB's second ever World Taekwondo champion". BBC Sport. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  5. ^ "Zheng Shuyin's behaviour was 'disrespectful' – GB performance director Hall". County Times.
  6. ^ Staniforth, Mark. "'I wouldn't change it for the world': Bianca Walkden wins third world taekwondo title after opponent is disqualified". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  7. ^ "Zheng beats Walkden to gold as World Taekwondo Grand Prix starts in Chiba". www.insidethegames.biz. 13 September 2019. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  8. ^ "Further revenge for Zheng over Walkden at World Taekwondo Grand Prix in Sofia". www.insidethegames.biz. 19 October 2019. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  9. ^ Houston, Michael (11 April 2021). "Walkden and McGowan triumph on golden last day of European Taekwondo Championships for Britain". InsideTheGames.biz. Retrieved 13 April 2021.
  10. ^ "Bianca Walkden and Rebecca McGowan claim gold medals on final day of taekwondo Euros in Sofia". Eurosport. 12 April 2021. Retrieved 13 April 2021.

External links[edit]