Pop-up gym and Olympic champion steering Walkden on the path to Tokyo

Pic: Ben Stevens for Purplebricks

Bianca Walkden knows having a fellow world number one for a housemate and a pop-up gym to train in gives a perfect platform for taekwondo glory in Tokyo. 

Walkden lives with best friend and reigning 57kg Olympic champion Jade Jones, the pair becoming a viral hit for an ingenious workout space whipped up in their garage in Manchester.

The 28-year-old has been gunning for +67kg Olympic gold ever since she claimed bronze at Rio 2016 and having Jones by her side is helping propel her towards next year’s rearranged Games.

“Jade and I have been close no matter what and we've lived together since 2010,” said Walkden, speaking on behalf of The Official Estate Agent of Team GB Purplebricks.

“We’re together now, at one of the darkest times the world has ever seen, and trying to keep the positivity of training towards the Olympics going.

“It's more vital than ever that we have each other, to still be able to push one another. We are very optimistic and I don't think I could have done it without her.

“Jade has a determination to always want to be the best. She’s won Olympic gold before and still goes out to try and be the best with every kick, an attitude which has a big effect on me.

“She’s showing me that it is possible. I eat, live, train with her every day and I’m around the possibility of becoming an Olympic champion, it’s a big confidence boost for me.

"As a fighter, confidence is key. You never saw Muhammad Ali or Conor McGregor coming out not believing in themselves.

"It's a massive part of fighting, to stand there, stand tall, be proud and believe in what you can do. You've got to talk the talk and walk the walk a little bit."

The Liverpudlian will remain one of the firm favourites for gold in Tokyo having been crowned world champion for the third time on home soil in Manchester last summer.

The cut and thrust of competition is on hold for now with the Olympic Games postponed until July 2021.
Walkden’s attention turned instead to producing the perfect home environment in which to train. And what a job she has done.

Her garage has transformed into a top-notch taekwondo facility with mats lining the floor where boxes used to lie, borrowing equipment from the National Taekwondo Centre. 

The two-time European champion has become a social media sensation and live Instagram broadcasts of her sessions with Jones draw big audiences as Britain strives to keep moving.

Walkden says the intensity of her training at home is close to peak level and admits she's far from a stranger to working out in a garage.

“Our sessions in the garage aren't far off what we’d get at the National Centre, about 60 or 70% of the intensity,” said Walkden.

“Our coaches normally would push us a bit more and we’d go back again and do two or three repetitions. But we all train together anyway and we do push each other.

“There have been a few funny moments in the garage, we had the kicking the ball into the washing machine challenge which took me about 1,000 attempts.

“One of the reasons we got the idea was because our former coach Paul Green, who coached me in Rio, had his garage done out and we did a few sessions at his place before the Olympics. It's business as usual really!"

Walkden’s ingenuity knows no bounds, and she revealed her efforts to pass the time in lockdown have stretched to learning another language.

“I have some Italian heritage and I own a pizza restaurant in Liverpool, so I’ve decided to start learning a bit of Italian," she said.

"I’ve got an app and I do 20 minutes a day to learn some phrases. I feel like I should know a little bit more than I do. I can just about count up to ten now!”

Purplebricks is the UK’s leading estate agent and offers customers a transparent and convenient way to buy, sell, or let. As the Official Estate Agent of Team GB they are supporting the national squad in the build-up to Tokyo. For more information contact ukpress@purplebricks.com or visit www.purplebricks.co.uk

  • Amitabh Bachchan Is Upset As Bhumi Calls Him 'Baller', Says 'Nobody's Telling Me What It Means'
    Entertainment
    News18

    Amitabh Bachchan Is Upset As Bhumi Calls Him 'Baller', Says 'Nobody's Telling Me What It Means'

    Earlier, Bhumi Pednekar gushed over Amitabh Bachchan’s gym selfie with his grandson Agastya Nanda, calling the 75-year-old actor a ‘baller’.

  • Heavy Rains Lash Delhi-NCR, Brings Respite from Intense Heat
    News
    News18

    Heavy Rains Lash Delhi-NCR, Brings Respite from Intense Heat

    The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said that the current weather condition will sustain over the Delhi-NCR region till June 1.

  • Ravi Mohan Saini, Who Won 1 Crore in KBC Junior at 14, is Now the SP of Porbandar
    News
    News18

    Ravi Mohan Saini, Who Won 1 Crore in KBC Junior at 14, is Now the SP of Porbandar

    Ravi Mohan Saini was only fourteen years old and in class 10 when he participated in KBC Junior.

  • Bollywood Celebs Floored by Yash and Roohi as Karan Johar Takes Their Screen Test, Watch Video
    Entertainment
    News18

    Bollywood Celebs Floored by Yash and Roohi as Karan Johar Takes Their Screen Test, Watch Video

    Filmmaker Karan Johar has taken the most adorable screen test during the lockdown and his talents did a good job to say the least.

  • Biden Urged to Pick Black VP, Not Klobuchar, as Minneapolis Killing Stokes Racial Tensions
    Politics
    News18

    Biden Urged to Pick Black VP, Not Klobuchar, as Minneapolis Killing Stokes Racial Tensions

    Several said choosing Senator Amy Klobuchar, a former White House rival also being vetted by Biden's team, would have the opposite effect.

  • India's COVID-19 recovery rate increases to 47.40%
    News
    Oneindia

    India's COVID-19 recovery rate increases to 47.40%

    New Delhi, May 30: The government on Saturday said 11,264 coronavirus patients have been cured across the country over the last 24 hours and India's recovery rate has increased by 4.51% to 47.40%. "The number of active patients declines from 89,987

  • Lockdown 5.0: Religious Shrines, Malls, Hotels outside Containment Zones to Open from June 8
    News
    News18

    Lockdown 5.0: Religious Shrines, Malls, Hotels outside Containment Zones to Open from June 8

    Lockdown 5.0 shall continue to be implemented strictly in the containment zones. These will be demarcated by the State/ UT Governments, after taking into consideration the guidelines issued by the Health Ministry.

  • 40 kilograms of explosives: Thwarting a nightmare at Pulwama
    News
    Oneindia

    40 kilograms of explosives: Thwarting a nightmare at Pulwama

    New Delhi, May 29: The car from which the Jammu and Kashmir police recovered explosives and thwarted a Pulwama type attack belonged to Hizbul Mujahideen operative Hidayatullah Malik. He is a resident of Sharatpora in Shopian and had joined the

  • Sons Refuse to Allow 80-year-old Mother into House out of Covid-19 Fear
    News
    News18

    Sons Refuse to Allow 80-year-old Mother into House out of Covid-19 Fear

    An 80-year-old woman was allegedly not allowed into their house here on Friday by her sons out of COVID-19 fear as she returned from Maharashtra.

  • Triple Strike: Trump to Withdraw WHO Funding, End Hong Kong's Special Status & Ban Some China Grads
    News
    News18

    Triple Strike: Trump to Withdraw WHO Funding, End Hong Kong's Special Status & Ban Some China Grads

    The president said in a White House announcement that Chinese officials “ignored” their reporting obligations to the WHO and pressured the organization to mislead the public about an outbreak that has now killed more than 100,000 Americans.

  • Pakistan’s efforts to target India at OIC foiled by Maldives, UAE
    News
    Oneindia

    Pakistan’s efforts to target India at OIC foiled by Maldives, UAE

    New Delhi, May 29: An attempt by Pakistan to create an informal group of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Islamophobia has been thwarted by Maldives and UAE. This comes in the wake of Male telling the OIC that singling out

  • Following Up on Priyanka’s Orders, Rebuilding Rahul’s Profile: Focus on 1st Family Sparks Rumblings in Cong
    News
    News18

    Following Up on Priyanka’s Orders, Rebuilding Rahul’s Profile: Focus on 1st Family Sparks Rumblings in Cong

    Priyanka Gandhi’s focus on Uttar Pradesh has also led to many party leaders getting upset over 'undue importance being given to UP' while other states are being neglected.

  • Jaya's nephew and niece entitled to her properties: Madras HC
    News
    PTI

    Jaya's nephew and niece entitled to her properties: Madras HC

    Chennai, May 29 (PTI) Two days after it declared the nephew and niece of late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa as her legal heir, the Madras High Court on Friday said the duo was entitled to her properties under the Hindu Sucession Act.

  • Delhi-Gurgaon border sealed, hundreds protest
    News
    Oneindia

    Delhi-Gurgaon border sealed, hundreds protest

    New Delhi, May 29: Massive traffic jam blocked the road connecting Delhi and Gurgaon this morning after the Haryana government decided to seal the routes that go to Delhi, concerned over rising cases of the highly infectious coronavirus. Earlier this morning,

  • The Ladakh Lesson: The Risk of Chinese Tech Intrusion is Real, India Must Guard Against it
    News
    News18

    The Ladakh Lesson: The Risk of Chinese Tech Intrusion is Real, India Must Guard Against it

    Allowing Huawei or ZTE to be a 5G equipment provider to Indian telecommunications firms will be like asking the Chinese Communist Party to run our general elections.

  • Hizbul Mujahideen Chief Syed Salahuddin Attacked in Islamabad, Injured
    News
    News18

    Hizbul Mujahideen Chief Syed Salahuddin Attacked in Islamabad, Injured

    Sources in the intelligence agencies said that Mohammad Yusuf Shah alias Syed Salahuddin, who also heads the alliance of pro-Pakistan terrorist groups called the United Jihad Council, was "grievously injured in the attack and is undergoing treatment".

  • Patients share beds as coronavirus cases overwhelm Mumbai’s hospitals
    News
    The Guardian

    Patients share beds as coronavirus cases overwhelm Mumbai’s hospitals

    As India’s pandemic continues, in some areas the healthcare system is close to collapse * Coronavirus – latest updates * See all our coronavirus coverageIn Mumbai’s Sion hospital emergency ward there are two people to a bed. Patients, many with coronavirus symptoms and strapped two to a single oxygen tank, were captured lying almost on top of each other, top-to-toe on shared stretchers or just lying on the floor, in footage shared on social media in India this week.Mumbai, a city of more than 20 million people, is weeks into the pandemic, but with new cases showing no sign of slowing down the city’s already weak healthcare system appears to be on the brink of collapse. State hospitals such as Sion, overcrowded in normal times, are overrun. With frontline doctors and nurses falling sick with the virus in their droves, it is also leading to a shortage of medical staff.“The volume and density of our population in Mumbai makes it very difficult to see how we will get out of the other side of this peak,” said Manish Shetty, a doctor who works on the Covid-19 ward in Guru Nanak hospital in Mumbai. “Definitely there is a fatigue setting in from all frontline workers, especially because there is a very high chance of healthcare workers getting infected.”He added: “There is definitely a shortage of beds for critical care. There is a lot of infrastructure and planning which is happening, but the magnitude of the cases is overwhelming us all.”It was at Sion hospital that, in footage that went viral a few weeks ago, Covid-19 patients were seen being treated in a ward alongside dead bodies, wrapped in black plastic bags, after the hospital morgue ran out of room.With 59,546 cases, and 1,695 deaths – nearly a quarter of all Covid-19 deaths nationally – the state of Maharashtra, and in particular its biggest city, Mumbai, has emerged as the centre of India’s coronavirus outbreak. According to doctors and officials, the peak began on 6 May, but the curve is showing no signs of flattening, and cases are still doubling every week.With state-run hospitals quickly running out of beds and keeping symptomatic patients waiting, the Mumbai municipal corporation has raced to convert a series of stadiums and office complexes into coronavirus wards and quarantine centres.A makeshift hospital with 1,000 beds, including intensive care facilities, was built in the city’s business district, the Bandra Kurla Complex. The National Sports Club of India stadium is being converted into a 600-bed quarantine and ICU facility, while the Mumbai planetarium will house 300 beds and the Nehru science centre will be made into a quarantine facility for those living in slums. Private hospitals have also been ordered to give over dozens of their beds for Covid-19 patients.A Mumbai municipal corporation spokesperson, Vijay Khabale, denied that coronavirus patients were being denied beds. “There are enough beds but there is a lack of coordination with other agencies, which is why there are these reports. The present situation is that we have more than enough beds and quarantine facilities.”Khabale said that all the new facilities would be completed within the week, but he was optimistic they would not need to be used at full capacity. “We are expecting that within a day or two that the cases will begin to flatten and then begin to decrease,” he insisted, adding: “We have it under control.”However, many doctors fear that the worse is still to come. India has been under one of the world’s strictest lockdowns since 24 March, but it has only slowed down the spread of the virus, rather than flattening the curve of cases. India ranks 4th in the world for new cases recorded each day, and with lockdown due to be loosened at the end of this week there are fears it will prompt a spike in infection rates, for which the hospitals are not prepared. India has had 158,000 reported cases.To complicate matters further, the beginning of June will bring the monsoon and the outbreaks of dengue fever, malaria and leptospirosis, which already inundate hospitals on an annual basis. Last year India officially reported more than 67,000 cases of dengue, though the real figure is thought to be much higher.According to the human rights activist Abraham Mathai, who runs the All India Nurses Association, dozens of patients with non-Covid related diseases are dying because they are being denied access to treatment, with some Mumbai hospitals ordered to only take in Covid-19 patients. Last week, 15-year-old Pawan Maddibona died after six hospitals refused to give him dialysis treatment for his kidneys.“Non-Covid patients have a right to live, they have a right to get their treatments,” said Mathai. “There has to be some kind of balanced policies so non-Covid patients don’t suffer.”Shetty from Guru Nanak hospital said his main fear was the as-yet unknown combination of coronavirus with the monsoon diseases, something other countries further through the pandemic had not been forced to face. “It will be a whole worrying new realm,” he said. “My guess is we will need a lot of beds to cope.”

  • A Political Riches-to-rags Story: Ajit Jogi, Chhattisgarh's First Chief Minister, Dies at 74
    News
    News18

    A Political Riches-to-rags Story: Ajit Jogi, Chhattisgarh's First Chief Minister, Dies at 74

    Leaving behind an abundant legacy of endless controversies he courted both as chief minister and as the Congress party’s perennial rebel leader, Jogi is remembered foremost for his political follies and unfulfilled ambitions.

  • Singapore to Set 'Travel Bubbles' with Countries where Covid-19 is under Control; cases reach 33,860
    News
    News18

    Singapore to Set 'Travel Bubbles' with Countries where Covid-19 is under Control; cases reach 33,860

    Singapore's tally of infections now stands at 33,860 and majority of them are foreign workers holding work permit and residing in the dormitories, the Health Ministry said.

  • China is Embracing a New Brand of Foreign Policy. Here's What Wolf Warrior Diplomacy Means
    News
    News18

    China is Embracing a New Brand of Foreign Policy. Here's What Wolf Warrior Diplomacy Means

    The 'wolf warriors' represent a completely different type of diplomat to the famously bland Chinese foreign representatives of the past few decades.

  • Delhi Wants Metro Services Resumed, Maha Mulls Opening Schools as States Gear Up for Lockdown 5.0
    News
    News18

    Delhi Wants Metro Services Resumed, Maha Mulls Opening Schools as States Gear Up for Lockdown 5.0

    Most states are in favour of giving a boost to economic activities but are also worried about the rising coronavirus numbers.

  • News
    ANI

    China pushes ahead agenda on India, Hong Kong and Taiwan using COVID cover

    Beijing [China], May 30 (ANI): China is rapidly pushing ahead its agenda on the border issue with India and other long-pending disputes like Hong Kong, Taiwan and the South China Sea using the global upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an analysis in the Wall Street Journal. It has been almost four months since Xi Jinping faced the biggest challenge of his leadership--the response to COVID outbreak.