Updated: Sunday, 19th November 2017 @ 8:06am

Team GB can win four medals at 2012 says British Open champion and Olympic taekwondo hopeful Martin Stamper

Team GB can win four medals at 2012 says British Open champion and Olympic taekwondo hopeful Martin Stamper

 By Steven Oldham, Sports Correspondent

Team GB’s taekwondo squad is talented enough to win four gold medals at 2012, according to British Open champion Martin Stamper.

GB Taekwondo have set a target of two medals for the home Games next summer, but Stamper – winner of the -68kg gold in Manchester last weekend – is looking for more.

His belief is fuelled by a good showing by Team GB in the fourth British Open to be held in the city.

“It’s looking really good for British taekwondo at 2012.  We have a real chance of four medals,” he said.

“Four golds at the British Open bodes well for us.  There were other really strong teams here.”

The Liverpudlian won by default as his opponent in the final, Jordan’s Mohammad Ablubideh withdrew through injury.

As well as Stamper, Aaron Cook, Jade Jones and Bianca Walkden climbed to the top of the podium in Manchester.

He believes that a competitive atmosphere created between himself and fellow hopefuls is pushing the national team to great success.

Tony Grisman, Jordan Gayle, Michael Harvey and George Lee all provide strong competition in his weight division from inside the elite selection pool.

After gold last weekend, he will now turn his attention to the French Open next month and is confident a nagging injury picked up in Manchester will not hamper him.

“There’s at least three other guys trying to get in my weight band.  It pushes us on and makes it interesting,” said Stamper. 

“I’m feeling a bit sore and bruised.  I had some difficult fights, especially against the French lads in the quarters and semis.

“I felt a bit rusty after not fighting for a few months but it’s good that I can still get gold after being injured.”

Stamper spent five months on the sidelines with a troublesome knee injury, but is looking on the bright side.

He also believes tournaments such as the British Open build on the publicity a home Olympics lends to less mainstream sports and is happy that public interest in taekwondo is increasing.

“If ever there was a good time to get injured, I did just that,” he said.

“I haven’t missed any major tournaments because of it, and if I can come back and win when I’m not feeling 100%, I’m happy with that.

“It’s an exciting sport to watch.  Even more so in Beijing with people trying for bigger points – more people are watching and having events like the British Open, which is getting bigger every year, can only be a good thing. “