Leah enjoyed a fantastic international debut as Team GB Captain, bringing home a Bronze medal at the European Cadet Championships in Bucharest, Romania. The event, now its fifth year, hosted over 40 International teams from across Europe, and proved more competitive than ever.
The GB Cadet team excelled at the event with a record haul of 4 medals: one Gold and three Bronze. The team received great praise from GB development officer Dean Leek, who said:
“The morale within the team was the best I have seen in my time with Taekwondo and believe that this really did inspire the team to perform well.”
How it unfolded
Leah competed on day 3 of the competition, facing Kadlckova of the Czech Rebublic in her First Round match. She got a fast start and was 15-2 in front by the end of the first round, completely outplaying her opponent and scoring with what has become her trade mark “high section” head shot. Leah continued to build on this great start, and the fight was stopped at the end of round two with Leah in front at 22-4.
Next up was Antoniov of Cyprus , and Leah got off to another fantastic start building a 14- 5 lead by the end of the first round. Round two saw another flurry of head shots as Leah took full control, and the contest finished with a 33-6 score line.
Leah’s Quarter-Final was against Rudas of Spain. The Spaniard started well and built a 5-3 lead in the early exchanges, but Leah fought back to take a 6-5 lead at the end of the first round. The Team GB Captain soon took full command in the second round and stopped the fight by the end of the round with a 20-9 victory.
This took Leah into the Semi-Final where she faced Griskova of Russia, who had also looked strong in the early rounds. It was a cagey contest, with both fighters showing great mutual respect for each other.
Leah took the only point of the first round, but the second round saw the Russian take the lead to finish at 3-2 and set up a nail-biting finale! The final round finished with the score locked at 6-6 which set up a Golden Point finish.
This is where the fighters compete a further round, with the next to score a point the winner. Agonisingly for Leah her Russian opponent scored the point to take her into the final, where she went on the win the Gold medal. Leah added to her growing medal collection with the bronze, and can look back on a fantastic performance, of which Dean Leeks says:
“Leah had a fantastic international debut. She scored a staggering 76 points in her first 3 matches which is amazing by any standards, and was desperately close to reaching the final. However she will take huge confidence from this experience, and has the ability to look forward to a very bright future within the sport”.
Leah’s father Gary, who was supporting her all the way in Bucharest, commented:
“I am so proud of Leah. She was heartbroken to miss out on the final and the chance of a silver or gold, but she has done everyone proud. She had a real “Captains Knock” and lead the team by example. Her performance’s in Romania did not go unnoticed by the GB coaching staff, and I received some very positive comments about her from other coaches and officials!”
Leah has cemented her place as the number 3 in Europe and is now looking to confirm her No 1 status in the UK at the British National Championships, which take place at the Manchester Velodrome on 7/8 September. Webanywhere would like to congratulate Leah for another great performance and wish her the best of luck at the Nationals.