Florida Five Make It US Open To Remember For GB Taekwondo
There was plenty to declare from GB Taekwondo stars as they headed home from Florida after a successful US Open campaign culminating in individual and team honours.
Mancunian Jordan Gayle (-63kg) and Liverpudlian, Martin Stamper (-68kg) boosted the final medal count to five with a brace of silvers on the last day of competition. And that total was good enough to earn the Manchester trained squad the ‘top male nation’ prize.
In addition, GB National coach Harry No was voted the tournament’s Outstanding Coach.
Stamper, who ended last year with victory at the Turkish Open, was bidding to regain the US Open title he won in Austin, Texas four years ago. And he almost succeeded going down 6-5 against Spaniard Jose Antonio Rosillo in the final after a 12-4 semi-final success against, Nkogho Mengue.
Like Stamper, Gayle survived a golden point quarter-final nail biter as he progressed to the podium places. He then knocked out Canada’s Siddhartha Bhat 13-7 in the semis before losing 14-2 in the final to China’s Shaui Zhao.
The only two fighters not to medal were Ruebyn Richards and Christian McNeish. Richards made a winning start before he withdrew through injury which will be assessed on his return, while World Youth Olympic bronze medallist McNeish made good progress before going down 8-7 to America’s former world champion and 2008 Beijing Olympic gold medallist, Mark Lopez.
The GB squad’s next tournament outing will be at the Bosnia Open next weekend.
Roll of Honour
Damon Sansum (-80kg), Lutalo Muhammad (-87kg)
Mahama Cho (+87kg), Jordan Gayle (-63kg), Martin Stamper (-68kg)