Updated: Saturday, 4th April 2020 @ 10:16am

More medal success at French Open for Manchester based taekwondo Olympic hopeful Martin Stamper

More medal success at French Open for Manchester based taekwondo Olympic hopeful Martin Stamper

By Steven Oldham, Sports Correspondent 

Manchester trained Martin Stamper’s London 2012 dream is one step closer to becoming reality after he won silver at taekwondo’s French Open on Sunday. 

Stamper – part of the elite squad at the GB Taekwondo’s Academy in the city – came second to Russian Vladimir Kim in a close -68kg final, ultimately losing 8-7.

Despite this loss Stamper – who won gold at the British Open at SportCity in October – leads the way after selection rivals Jordan Gayle and Michael Harvey went out in the quarter finals and second round respectively, with Gayle beating Harvey in a clash between best friends. 

He said: “It’s looking really good for the Olympics.   I’ve probably been the most consistent player this year in terms of medals.” 

It has indeed been an impressive year, with five medals from five elite level competitions entered including three golds.

Talking about the fight, despite the silver, it’s obvious he wanted to win.   

“I was really pleased to get to the final in Paris.  It’s a bit disappointing not to get the gold but it was a close fight.” 

“I switched off at a vital moment and let him take the lead at 5-5.  He was good at covering me off so I couldn’t get the points I needed to get the win.” 

The likable Scouser now has some time off over Christmas before heading to Mexico in the New Year for a training camp. 

In late February, Stamper will be competing in the Dutch Open and a couple of weeks later at the German Open, both events the selectors will be looking at to make their decisions ahead of the European Championships in May. 

“It is quite busy with the tournaments so close together but you just get on with it,” he said, before adding: “I’ve just got to manage my training and any knocks I’m carrying the best I can.” 

When I last spoke to Martin after his British Open win, he picked up an ankle injury.  Fortunately for him, there were no repeats this time around. 

“I felt pretty beat up on Sunday but it’s just knocks and bruising mainly, no injuries.” 

Keep an eye out on our sport page in the New Year, we’ll be chatting to Martin again before the Dutch Open.