Updated: Monday, 13th July 2020 @ 9:36pm

GB Taekwondo’s Martin Stamper firmly focused on this weekend’s German Open

GB Taekwondo’s Martin Stamper firmly focused on this weekend’s German Open

By Steven Oldham, Sports Correspondent  

Manchester trained Olympic hopeful Martin Stamper is adamant there is much work to be done before his thoughts can turn to London 2012 – starting at this weekend’s German Open. 

This weekend's event in Hamburg is the third of four selection tournaments for GB’s elite taekwondo fighters to prove themselves for selection – and there is only one spot available in each weight category. 

Martin would appear to be in pole position in the -68kg class after winning gold at last year’s British Open and picking up silver at the French Open in December. 

His selection rivals, including Mancunians Jordan Gayle and Michael Harvey, have yet to medal in these crucial events. 

Martin said: “Everybody is talking about the Olympics, but we’ve got two big tournaments before that (German and Dutch Opens) and then the Euro’s in May.”

“The team for London will be decided by then so for those not going to the Games the European Championships will be massive.” 

Martin won at the German Open last year and is eager to continue his medal-winning streak on the continent. 

“I want to repeat the great result from Germany last year, and I am confident for this weekend.  My coach and I have watched my last fight back and even though I did well I still made mistakes.” 

“I’ve been working on getting rid of them in training and I’ve got a little system going over the past few weeks – it’s going well.”

After some well earned time off over Christmas, Liverpudlian Martin and the rest of the GB Taekwondo squad headed to Mexico for a training camp in the New Year. 

“It was really tough.  A normal session took twice of much out of you because of the altitude.  It was good training with the Mexicans – like us, there’s four of them fighting for one Olympic spot so it was very competitive.”

“When I got back from Mexico I was ill, so I missed some training – I’ve made up for that by grabbing some of the lads after training and doing extra sparring.” 

Fourteen of GB Taekwondo's elite fighters - based at their Academy in the city - will be in action this weekend, the majority on Saturday, including Martin. 

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