GB TAEKWONDO TARGETS MORE SUCCESS AFTER GREEN LIGHT FROM UK SPORT
London's 2012 Olympic Games can't come soon enough for GB Taekwondo and one of its star players in particular.
The Manchester based programme has been praised in UK Sport's Mission 2012 latest analysis, one of 11 of next year's 28 Olympic sports to receive the green light of approval.
It follows a record breaking World Championship last May when four internationals, Sarah Stevenson, Jade Jones, Michael Harvey and Martin Stamper collected medals.
And there have been further medals in Open competitions throughout the world, including double gold for Stamper in America and Germany.
UK Sport chief executive Liz Nicholl enthused:"In 2011, we have already seen the likes of Taekwondo record its best ever result in a World Championship, winning four medals, three of which came in their nominated Olympic weight categories.
"Mission 2012 suggests these high levels results will continue throughout the year."
Great Britain Performance Director Gary Hall confirmed:"I am optimistic we are going to get some good performances in London.
"I am very pleased with the progress being made within the squad. We are on the up. Before Beijing, we had Sarah Stevenson hitting the numbers and other guys with some tremendous potential.
"Now those players have gone from having potential to tremendous promise.GB Taekwondo has made significant performance progress over the current Olympic cycle.
"But we are really grateful for all funding we receive. Hopefully, we will be able to repay that money with medals."
Dad of one Stamper missed selection to the 2008 Beijing Games, hampered by a knee injury and move to a higher weight division.
The Liverpool born star, close to fitness following another knee injury, is among a quartet of players battling for one place at -68kg.
Admitting competition is fierce the 24-year-old remains optimistic he can gain the vote for 2012.
"All four of us (Stamper, Harvey, Tony Grisman and Jordan Gayle) know the situation so it's not a problem," he said.
"We are really good mates and train well together. And I don't think I would be as good as I am if these guys weren't pushing me.
"You need to train and compete at the highest level and that's certainly case with the four of us.
"What happened to me in 2008 was a big learning curve," he agreed. And I think it will stand me in good stead this time round."
Stamper has been disappointed to miss the squad's current training camp in Korea but claimed the injury "weirdly couldn't have happened at a better time.
"I am gutted I couldn't go to Korea but I haven't missed any Olympic selection tournaments. And I'll certainly be ready for the British Open in Manchester in October.
"Even if it takes another week before I can kick again, that still leaves two months preparation time which is more than enough."
*Eight of Britain's squad will take a break from training today (Wednesday) to visit the British Embassy in Seoul and unveil a 2012 countdown clock in Olympic Park.
*For more information about GB Taekwondo visit our new website www.gbtaekwondo.uk
For further information contact:
Telephone: 07808 773264
Red and White Sport
Telephone: 07768 846839
NOTES TO EDITORS
Major Forthcoming GB Taekwondo Events:
1-2 October 2011 British International Open, Manchester
3-6 May, 2012 European Taekwondo Championships, Manchester
About GB Taekwondo
Based in Manchester, GB Taekwondo are responsible for the preparation, management and performance of British elite athletes at major championships and the Olympic Games. It is also responsible for the selection policy and the nomination of athletes to the national governing body, British Taekwondo, ahead of such events.
In addition, GB Taekwondo as rights holders, are responsible for the delivery of a series of major taekwondo events including the annual British International Open and in 2012, the European Taekwondo Championships.
GB Taekwondo has recently launched a number of junior development initiatives in partnership with Sport England and Manchester City Council with the objective of both introducing new people to Taekwondo and to identify outstanding talent that can be further developed to ensure a strong British team for years to come.
For further information, visit www.gbtaekwondo.co.uk
Follow GB Taekwondo on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/TeamGBTaekwondo
About Manchester City Council:
Home to the GB Taekwondo squad and host of the British International Taekwondo Open 2011 and the European Taekwondo Championships in 2012, Manchester continues to strengthen its impressive reputation for successfully staging major international sports events that bring long-term social and economic benefits to the City and its residents.
Manchester’s excellent range of accessible sports venues and facilities, combined with its school and community sports development programmes provide the springboard for sporting stars of the future and events such as these play a key role in the creation of sporting opportunities across the city. Manchester will continue to host major events that deliver real benefits to local people whilst also showcasing the city both as a vibrant place of national and international significance and as a global sporting hub. For more information on Manchester’s sports events programme visit www.manchesterworldsport.com
About UK Sport
UK Sport’s World Class Events Programme distributes approximately £4 million of Lottery funding each year to support the bidding and staging costs of major events on home soil, as well as providing specialist support to organisers.
Events are supported primarily based on their likely performance impact, but the broader impacts of events are also examined, to maximise the wider sporting, social, cultural, economic and environmental benefits, as well as sporting performance and legacy.
Up to 60 events across 30 sports will have been supported from 2010 until the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. These competitions will attract around 17,000 athletes and provide opportunities for over 10,000 officials and volunteers to gain international sporting experience and develop key skills ahead of London 2012. More @ www.uksport.gov.uk/events
KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, is a subsidiary of KPMG Europe LLP and operates from 22 offices across the UK with nearly 11,000 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a turnover of £1.6 billion in the year ended September 2010. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. We operate in 150 countries and have more than 138,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. KPMG International provides no client services.