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Mandic and Isaev cruise into Taekwondo finals

Mandic Serbia
Milica Mandic (blue) of Serbia en route to Friday night's +67kg final. Getty Images
Olympic champion will meet Epangue in women's +67kg final

The lion's share of favourites advanced to the finals of the women's +67kg and men's +80kg on the fourth and final day of the Taekwondo competition at Crystal Hall on Friday.

London 2012 Olympic champion Milica Mandic and 2015 world silver medallist Gwladys Epangue of France will battle it out for the women's gold, while 2015 world champion Radik Isaev of Azerbaijan will face Vladislav Larin of Russia in the men's final. 

The best photos from Friday's Taekwondo can be viewed here

Of the favourites, only Great Britain's 2015 world champion Bianca Walkden failed to progress past the quarter final.

Mandic, who said she is fully recovered from a stomach muscle injury that hampered her at the recent world championships, easily made it to the women's +67kg final with double-digit victories in the first three rounds. The top seed beat her semi-final opponent Maryna Konieva 15-1 .

"I thought I'd be in the semifinal with Bianca (Walkden), but Maryna was very good and had more points because of her very unusual front leg. But we had a tactic prepared for that and it was good in the end."

The experienced Epangue, at 31 the oldest competitor in the weight class, looked solid in her first matches but seemed to tire towards the end of the semi-final against Iva Rados Cor.

Isaev had a bye and started his day in the afternoon's quarter-finals, before he crushed his semi-final opponent Ivan Konrad Trajkovic 17-2.

Larin looked equally at ease, setting up a potentially explosive final.


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