Success and Controversy at Grand Prix
Damon Sansum secured Britain’s second medal at the World Taekwondo Grand Prix in Kazakhstan, in the -80kg category.
Laced with controversy and excitement, the fight was fraught with disputes from the off and Sansum was ultimately defeated by two time Olympic champion Steven Lopez, however was still very happy with the result.
With scores tied 11-11 with only seconds to spare, Samsun was leading until an appeal resulted in a penalisation. With just one second remaining, Sansum scored on a body shot, taking the bout into overtime and huge controversy. Unsure as to whether time had already expired, the bout went to golden point and after a sudden death round it was Lopez who prevailed.
“It’s my first medal at a Grand Prix,” said Sansum whose run to the medal matches included victory over Germany’s world champion, Tahir Gulec. “While it’s not my colour I wanted, it’s good for the points and the road to Rio.”
“I think I’m improving at a fast rate and still relatively new to the sport. I’m on track where I want to be and comfortable in taekwondo now.
“The sudden death could have gone either way and I could have come home with gold but I’ll settle for bronze. Next time in Manchester it’ll definitely be a different colour medal.”
The Sunday saw the third medal awarded to team GB with Jade Jones leaving with a silver, adding to her ever-expanding collection. Jones narrowly missed out on gold to rival Eva Calvo Gomez, however showed her fighting progression, especially after beating the world champion (So-hee Kim) by 12 points.
“Eva has become a great rival and this time she was the better fighter on the day. Hopefully, though I can make it third time lucky in Manchester.
“I will go back to the gym now and work hard. There’s still two years to Rio and I know there is a lot more in the tank.”
Jones’ silver will sit alongside Mahama Cho’s silver (+80g) and Sansum’s -80g bronze.