Hall encouraged by Manchester showing
May 7, 2012 13:54 pm
Team GB Taekwondo performance director Gary Hall feels the organisation's hard work continues to pay off on the road towards London 2012 after a successful European Championships in Manchester.
The British squad delivered seven medals at the Regional Arena, including three golds and the overall men's team title.
The selectors must now decide upon their final Olympic party in two pre-nominated weight divisions for both men and women, which will be announced at the end of the month.
Aaron Cook, who last year opted to train outside the elite programme in Manchester, retained his under-80kgs title to put himself in the driving seat for London 2012, while Liverpudlian Martin Stamper won bronze in the under-68kgs category as did Wales teenager Jade Jones at under-57kgs.
However, there were also successes in non-Olympic weight classes for Michael Harvey, a member of the Beijing squad, at under-63kgs and Londoner Lutalo Muhammad in the under-87kgs.
Bianca Walkden had been hoping to give the selectors a further headache by delivering in the under-67kgs, where she continues to deputise for the injured Sarah Stevenson, but lost a controversial quarter-final.
Having seen his elite fighters return four medals at the 2011 World Championships - where 2008 Olympic bronze medallist Stevenson won a second title in Korea - Hall believes everything is on track for Olympic success.
"We have got an exceptional team in Manchester, with a world-class coaching team, and we have seen that with the results at the European Championships because it makes a huge difference over other nations," said Hall.
"Everyone is working really hard and knows what this is all about.
"We have proved at the World Championships last year and here at the Europeans, that all of that hard work and knowledge pays off."
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