Stamper To Replace Richards In Baku
Team GB taekwondo athlete Ruebyn Richards has sustained an injury to his right foot in training and is unable to compete in the Baku 2015 European Games.
He will be replaced in the -68kg weight category by London 2012 Olympian Martin Stamper. Stamper, 28, reached the semi-finals at London 2012 and is also a 2011 World Championship bronze medallist.
Ruebyn Richards said: “I’m absolutely devastated to have to pull out through injury. I was really looking forward to Baku having competed well there last year. I can only wish Martin and the GB team the best of luck at the Games.”
Martin Stamper said: “It’s unfortunate what happened to Ruebyn but that can happen in sport especially taekwondo. It’s a great opportunity for me and I’m feeling excited and ready to grab it with both hands.
It’s been a crazy 12 hours I only found out at around 8pm last night that it had been confirmed I could compete. It’s been a mad rush but I’m glad to be on the plane to fly out with the rest of the team.
I’m lucky I have a very understanding fiancée even with her being nearly eight months pregnant, so I’m hoping we have two things to celebrate soon.”
Team GB taekwondo Team Leader Gary Hall said:
“It’s desperately bad luck for Ruebyn and particularly so as he only recently returned to action following a couple of previous injuries. It happened almost with the last kick of his last pre-Baku training session and you just can’t legislate for that.
“But Ruebyn has plenty to aim for over the coming six months and we will work to get him back on the mats for the Grand Prix Series.
“Martin is a great addition to the team in what are obviously unfortunate circumstances. He’s a professional and has Games experience and I’m sure he’ll be looking to seize the opportunity he’s now been given in Baku next week.”