Putting On Weight Is No Issue For Teenage Star Charlie

Israel Open
European Games champion Charlie Maddock made light work of her step up to a new weight division by winning the Israel Open title in Ramia.

And Ben Haines doubled Great Britain’s medal tally by taking bronze at -74kg, only denied a place in the final on golden point.

After competing most of the year at -49kg, Maddock took her place at -53kg and again delivered the goods.

“Some of the girls had fought at -57kg at last month’s World Grand Prix in Moscow,” explained the 19-year-old from Stoke on Trent.

“So, they were stronger than me. But I felt I had the edge on them with my speed.” And so it proved even though Maddock took time to adapt to the new category.

“I think I was behind in three of my fights but even then I was enjoying it. It’s good to get another title but to keep pushing up the ranking points.”

Maddock came from 8-1 down in her opening bout to beat Cypriot, Despina Pilavaki 13-10. Wins over Sweden’s Magdalena Fernlund and 2014 European Championship silver medallist, Ekaterina Kim of Russia, took Maddock into the final against experienced French rival, Floriane Liborio.

The 27-year-old won a World Championship bronze in 2013 and is twice European champion. But Maddock again showed she’s no respecter of reputations and defeated Liborio 8-5 to strike gold.

Haines, 21 from Portsmouth, silenced a partisan home crowd with victory over Shlomo Shazo en route to the semi-finals. However, after a close clash with Russian Kadyrbech Daurov he lost in sudden death. “My coach, Gareth Brown, told me to go with my back leg,” explained the 2015 Australian Open bronze medallist.

“But I hesitated and thought I could catch him with something else. Next time I’ll listen to the coach,” he admitted. “But it was more good experience for me and all the Russian fighters are good standard.”

*To watch Olympic champion Jade Jones, World Championship gold medallist, Bianca Walkden, and Britain’s other top stars fighting on home territory for the last time before next year’s Olympics, take in the action at Manchester’s edition of the World Taekwondo Grand Prix from October 16-18. Tickets are now on sale at http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/wtgp

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