Chester's Amy Truesdale has added a world title to her European crown by claiming gold at the World Para Taekwondo Championships in Russia.
Truesdale, 25, from Ermine Road, Hoole, emerged victorious at the Championships in Moscow despite being defeated in the final by Canadian veteran Lisa Standeven, due to the reclassification of her K44 class at the competition.
World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) officials deemed the two should not have competed against each other because of different disabilities and awarded Truesdale, a three-time World silver medallist, the gold medal.
Truesdale said: “Lisa was in her own category with no other opposition, so they put her in the section I was in because they wanted to give her a fight.
“I am happy to get gold but disappointed at the same time. I have played her a few times now and still keep losing by a couple of points.
“It’s really frustrating because she is not that fast and not really any better than me. I end up getting caught all the time and it’s something I need to sort out.”
The Russian competition represented the largest WTF World Para Championships to date, with more than 29 countries entering competitors.
But, with a decision looming on October 23 as to whether the sport will be included at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Great Britain athlete Truesdale, who was born with the lower part of her left arm missing, says the chance to take gold in Japan would represent the pinnacle of her career.
“I will be 31 then but I will always continue to do tae kwon-do until physically I can’t do it anymore,” she told GB Taekwondo. “I will carry on regardless. But it will be massive for tae kwon-do if it gets in. It will be a brilliant way to raise the profile for disabled people and encourage a lot more people to do the sport.”
Peter Johnson, who coaches Truesdale in Stoke, expressed his delight at his pupil’s success in Russia and declared her a ‘medal contender’ if the decision to include the sport at Tokyo 2020 were to go their way.
“We were pleased with this performance. It was the best I’ve seen Amy on the world stage and she still secured gold in her K44 class,” said Johnson.
“The new classification suits Amy as the Canadian (Standeven) has also been reclassified as open category and this should mean a difference and more opportunities for Amy to compete against more competitors.
“If the vote goes for Para Taekwondo in October, Amy will definitely be a medal contender in the Japanese Olympics 2020.”