Jordan Gayle insists the strength in depth of the Great Britain squad means next week’s World Taekwondo Championships hold no fear for him.
Manchester’s Gayle has been selected as Britain’s male representative in the -63kg category and will travel to Chelyabinsk, Russia, for the World Championships which begin on May 12.
The 23-year-old will take on the best in the world in pursuit of the title, but also knows that a huge number of qualification points for the 2016 Rio Olympics are also at stake.
However, he believes that training alongside not only the country’s 14-strong squad heading to Russia, but a number of the players who just missed out on selection, will stand him in good stead against the elite.
“Preparation for the World Championships is going really well,” said Gayle. “I went to Cuba and we had a really good training camp with some strong spars.
“We have the benefit of having three or four of the best fighters in each division in our team too so even if we don’t go to training camps we have got the same environment in Manchester.
“I know this team is capable of doing great things because I see them day in day out and when we see others teams in training camps I think we’re better than most.
“But you know what sport is like Manchester United sometimes lose to a team in the lower leagues and that’s how it is.
“I’m just going to take each fight as it comes in the World Championships and make sure I get there in the right mindset.”
Gayle has proved that he belongs on the world stage over the last 12 months, winning both the Commonwealth Championships and Turkish Open.
He also claimed silver at the recent US Open in Orlando and as he chases a maiden World Championship title, he is confident he is is in a good place.
“I’ve had a very good start to the year, a few things didn’t go my way in the last couple of tournaments last year,” added Gayle.
“I wouldn’t say I’m doing anything differently but things have just gone my way, I’ve been putting in some good performances for a while and sometimes it goes the wrong way at the wrong time.
“But I’ve put that right in the last couple of tournaments.”
The World Taekwondo Grand Prix – featuring the very best Olympic and World Champions from across the globe – is coming to Manchester on 16-18 October. Experience the excitement, drama and electrifying atmosphere of this explosive Olympic sport with tickets on sale 19 May at www.ticketmaster.co.uk/wtgp