Hard work pays off for Stamper

Team GB taekwondo fighter Martin Stamper has been through some "horrible" training regimes to get in top shape for London 2012 - but knows it will all be worth it for a shot at an Olympic medal.

Stamper will compete in the under-68 kilogram division as part of a four-strong squad for the Games.

The 25-year-old has produced consistent results at major competitions since claiming bronze at the 2011 World Championships, which he followed up with the British Open title as well as another third place at the 2012 European Championships in Manchester during May.

Stamper, though, felt he had to step up his performances to make an impact at the Olympics, which will see him seeded fourth as a home nation fighter and so potentially opening up the draw for the Liverpudlian.

"Getting selected was my aim two years ago and I have made sure that happened with some good results over the last 18 months. I have also put a lot of work in with strength and conditioning," Stamper told Press Association Sport.

"I had a meeting with all my coaches and looked at how we could move things forwards.

"My stamina was one of those areas and I have been doing conditioning rounds in a weighted vest, which has been horrible, but when I get in the ring at the Olympics, hopefully it will all be worth it."

Although fit-again double world champion Sarah Stevenson, who took Olympic bronze in Beijing, attended the opening ceremony to make the athlete's pledge, Gary Hall's elite fighters are not scheduled to depart for London until just a couple of days before competition.

They will instead be making use of facilities at the Team GB Loughborough holding camp to fine-tune preparations.

Stamper suggests that a carefully-planned schedule will allow the squad, which includes Wales teenager Jade Jones who was a world silver medallist last year, to focus fully on the job in hand.

"At first I was thinking I would have liked to have been at the Athletes' Village for a bit longer, but people have told me about how there can be distractions, so it is a really good balance we have with being at Loughborough first," Stamper said.

"We will have some time to relax, with two days in the Village before it all kicks off."