Truesdale wins gold at World Para Taekwondo Championships
A home World Championships is always a special occasion but Amy Truesdale ensured it would be to one to remember as she won gold at London's Copper Box Arena.
The Chester-based world number one triumphed 17-3 in the gold medal bout against Rajae Akermach having earlier fought her way to two stunning victories to reach the final.
Truesdale defeated Debora Menezes 21-1 in the +58kg quarter-final and then eased past Turkey’s Seyma Nur Emeksiz 23-4 in the semi-final to earn the chance to add another world gold to her medal haul.
The 28-year-old dominated Akermach in the final before the Moroccan suffered a final-ending injury to ensure a second world title for Truesdale - having first triumphed in 2014 - and she was quick to pay tribute to the British crowd.
“I’m absolutely made up, I don’t think it has sunk in yet,” she said.
“I definitely think the home support gave me the boost to fight a lot better so it has been really good.
“The real goal is Tokyo 2020 and it will come around really quickly – so I’ve got to make sure I step up my training.”
The performance is an important step on Truesdale’s journey to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, with para taekwondo having been added to the programme.
"I’m absolutely made up, I don’t think it has sunk in yet." Amy Truesdale
Earlier in the day, Leif Thobroe impressed on his World Championships debut, reaching the quarter-final stage of the -61kg class after defeating Jean Pierre Imanirakiza in the first round.
But, faced with Turkey’s Mehmet Sami Sarac in the last eight, the Swansea para-athlete could not claim a medal and was defeated 22-14.
Also making his debut, Middlesex’s Joseph Lane showed great spirit to drive up the score against Greece’s Vasileios Panagiotopoulos in a -75kg bout, though he eventually lost 29-23.
Matt Bush reached the last 16 of the +75kg category after a dominant opening 26-6 win over Turkey’s Yasin Tokdogan, but he was defeated 30-7 by Ivan Mikulic in the next round.
Photo: GB Taekwondo