Manchester-based taekwondo champion Jade Jones takes gold as Team GB pick up six medals at German Open

By Steven Oldham

Great Britain’s Manchester-based elite taekwondo fighters won six medals at this weekend’s German Open with Jade Jones, Martin Stamper and Ruebyn Richards taking gold. 

Olympic champion Jones upgraded last year’s silver in the -54kg, while Stamper won the -68kg tournament in Hamburg for the second time in three years. 

Richards picked up his first A-class tournament victory in the -74kg following a silver and two bronze medals in recent tournaments in Serbia, France and Sweden. 

He said: “I always believed I could do it. I stuck to my game plan and everything fell into place.” 

Richards beat Turkey’s Muhammat Sari 3-2 in the final, having fought his way past five opponents to make it to the last two. 

“I fought Serbia’s Damir Fejzic in the semi finals, who had been a -68kg at the Olympics. I knew I would be able to outmuscle him. 

But he was stronger than I expected and fortunately I just managed to beat him,” he added. 

Stamper – a London 2012 quarter finalist – returned to winning ways, picking up his first tournament victory since the 2011 British Open by beating Vasilli Nikitin 11-4 in the final. 

He knocked out Tameside’s Michael Harvey in the semi-final in an all British clash, who in turn defeated team-mate Jamie Abley in the quarter-finals. 

Stamper said: “I am so glad to be fighting at my best again. This is one of the toughest opens in the world. 

I hope it can be a stepping stone for me to be at the top of the world championship podium in July.” 

London 2012 champion Jones’ return to form after a first round defeat in Trelleborg – her first competition since winning Olympic gold – capped a fine weekend for Great Britain, who beat last year’s medal total by two. 

In addition to the three gold medals, Damon Sansum – winner of the -80kg title here last year – picked up bronze in the heavyweight +87kg class. 

Bianca Walkden’s run of four consecutive tournament wins came to an end, with the Liverpudlian having to settle for bronze this time out.

Harvey’s bronze in the -68kg is his second medal of the year, having also picked up third in Sweden last month.

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Photo courtesy of GB Taekwondo, with thanks 

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