Edwards is double world champ after Italy golds

Conor Edwards with his medals
Conor Edwards with his medals

Ilkeston Taekwon-Do star Conor Edwards has returned from the World Championships in Italy with two gold medals.

Edwards, 20, was in Roana in the north of the country where 27 countries were taking part in the event, including the USA, Canada, Russia, Australia and many from Europe.

Edwards represented England in the men’s black belt-58kg weight category and won gold in both the continuous and point stop sparring disciplines.

In the continuous sparring, where the four corner judges determine who wins, the victor must get a favourable decision from at least three of the judges.

In the semi-final, Edwards fought over two rounds of two minutes each against an opponent who had previously represented Australia in the Commonwealth Games. Edwards won that match three judges to nil to progress to the final.

There he fought a representative from Russia and again won the match three judges to nil over a similar number of rounds.

In the point stop sparring, there are three judges of which two would need to acknowledge a score.

This score is instantly put on the electronic scoreboard for everyone to see, and this continues until both two minute rounds have elapsed and the winner is determined by whom has the most points.

In the semi-final, Edwards won comfortably to progress into the final against the same Australian opponent from the continuous sparring category.

Thsi proved to be a far closer affair. At one point in the match Edwards was winning 6-2 but with only three seconds on the clock the score was 7-6 in Edwards’ favour making it a very tense last few seconds.

Adding to the excitement and drama, the Australian opponent tied the match 7-7 in the last second with a punch to the head.

This led to ‘sudden death’ which is extra time of one minute where the first person to score wins.

The clock was ticking down with both competitors vying for a clear opening, and with 20 seconds left on the clock Edwards’ opportunity to become double world champion presented himself when he faked a front leg side kick to the body before punching to the head.

So far 2015 has been a successful year, with wins in the English Open, a runner-up spot in the Canadian Open and now the double World Championship in Italy.

Edwards’ confirmed next tournaments this year are the Scottish Open in September and the British Open in November.