The Taekwondo Grand Prix is taking place this weekend in Manchester, England and with valuable qualifying points for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics up for grabs, we took some time to catch up with Taekwondo World Champion and OPRO ambassador Bianca Walkden.

 Binaca Walkden OPRO Taewondo ambassador

“I want to win everything”

For Bianca, the build up to this weekend’s Taekwondo Grand Prix has meant an exhausting training regime. Whilst most of us mere mortals try to get to the gym 2 or 3 times a week Bianca trains 3 times a day, 5 days a week. Just thinking about that intense training regime is enough to bring on a sweat, but as the days count down Bianca’s training keeps ramping up. 

“The fact that it’s on our doorstep, round the corner from where we train is amazing. I don’t have to go on a plane and get jetlag.”

Competing in a local Grand Prix clearly has its advantages, aside from the lack of jetlag. Having the crowd behind you can help to drive you on to success and for Bianca the crowd at this Grand Prix will really be behind her. “My family get to come and watch, they don’t really get to come and travel to see me perform or fight in a grand prix most of the time because they are so far away.”

It’s clear that having the support of a home crowd means a lot, even when you’re the world champion.

Bianca Walkden training

Bianca’s Taekwondo journey hasn’t been the easiest; she’s suffered setbacks and needed surgery to repair ruptured ACL’s in both of her knees. Considering the severity of her injuries it’s awe-inspiring that Bianca has been able to rise back up to a world class competitive level at all. The surgery meant that unfortunately Bianca had to miss out on London 2012, but she was able to come back strong, winning Bronze at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

“It hasn’t been easy. It looks a bit easy now that I’m doing quite well, but it's because I’ve had to go through all that down to come up on a high.”

Nothing in Bianca’s past seems to have put her off her target of winning everything.

“No matter what ring I’m in or who I fight I want to win everything!”

At her current rate Bianca is very much on target to be in the top 6 at the end of 2019. Achieving this would earn her a ‘Golden Ticket’ to the Tokyo Olympics.

Best of luck Bianca, we know you can do it!

Want to get the best protection just like Bianca… click here to find your perfect mouthguard!