15 - 19 MAY 2019

MANCHESTER ARENA

Jones’ joy after long awaited World Championship success in Manchester

Jade Jones joined Great Britain’s World Championship club for the first time in Manchester tonight (Saturday) to deny South Korea a fifth gold medal of the tournament.

The 26-year-old Welsh star removed her world ‘curse’ by defeating holder Ah-Reum Lee 14-7 in the -57kg final.

Jones had made four previous attempts to emulate the achievement of team mate and friend, Bianca Walkden.

And she saw Bradly Sinden become Britain’s first male world champion 24 hours before her own attempt to rule the world.

However, it all came right for the hosts who added a fourth medal of the tournament thanks to a remarkable performance of 16-old newcomer Aaliyah Powell.

But it was Jones who stole the show on a night when International Olympic Committee President, Thomas Bach, was in town to watch the action.

“It still doesn’t seem real,” said the London and Rio Olympic gold medallist.

“I have been dying to win this title but it’s the one that has got away so it just feels amazing,” said the world number one.

“Sometimes, you have doubts-maybe I am just an Olympic girl.

“But I have done everything now so I can go to bed and sleep at night now.”

It was sweet revenge for Jones after defeat to Lee in the 2017 World Championships but certainly not an upset.

However, Simone Alessio sprang a surprise against favourite Ahmad Abughaush to secure Italy victory in the -74kg final.

Olympic champion Abughaush of Jordan, the 2017 world bronze medallist, struggled to get to grips with his tall teenage opponent and eventually lost 18-11.

China suffered final heartbreak for a second successive night.

But veteran Jingyu Wu’s defeat to 2015 champion and 2017 runner-up Panipak Wongpattanakit of Thailand was far less controversial than Shuyin Zheng’s disqualification against Walkden.

The 32-year-old double Olympic gold medallist who made her world bow in 2007, was overwhelmed 21-6 in the -49kg final by an opponent 11 years her junior.

China will have another shot at gold in Sunday’s finals thanks to Zhang Mengyu who defeated Azerbaijan’s Farida Azizova 18-5 in the -67kg semi-finals.

Azizova enjoyed her golden moment in the quarter-finals knocking out Ivory Coast’s defending champion Ruth Gbagbi in the quarters.

Trying to deny Mengyi will be Turkey’s Tatar Askari who put out Brazil’s  Milena Titoneli 20-3.

Defending champion and Olympic gold medallist, Beigi Harchegani, from Azerbaijan reached the under-80kg final beating South Korea’s Park Woo-Hyeok 37-20.

He will face Greece’s Apostolos Telikostoglou who accounted for Moises Hernandez from Dominican Republic.

Aaron Cook, who previously won a European title for Great Britain and now fights for Moldova, couldn’t emulate girlfriend, Bianca Walkden.

He lost to Harchegani in the quarter-finals of the -80kg weight division in what is expected to be his final World Championship.

Russian Tatiana Kudashova, the Muju silver medallist, will meet Thailand’s Phannapa Harnsujin in the -53kg final, ending the giant killing  run of English teenager, Powell.

Appearing in her first senior competition Powell, the 2018 junior world champion, won three matches to claim an unlikely bronze.

Harnsujin defeated Latvia’s Inese Tarvida 20-17 in the second semi-final.

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