Aaron Cook buoyed by Dutch courage

20 March 2012 / 19:47

Aaron Cook is confident he has done enough to secure a place at London 2012 after his return to form at the Dutch Open last weekend.

Reigning under-80kg European champion Cook, who last year left the Great Britain Taekwondo World Class Performance Programme to pursue his own training regime, won the event in Eindhoven, beating fellow British fighter Lutalo Muhammad along the way.

A fortnight earlier he had lost a semi-final to Muhammad at the German Open, where another Briton, Damon Sansum, went on to take gold.

Prior to that, Cook had also triumphed at the US Open in February and the 21-year-old feels that having bounced back so quickly from his disappointment in Germany, he has put himself firmly in the frame for Olympic selection ahead of his rivals, a final decision on which will be made after May's European Championships in Manchester.

"I feel like I have done enough," said Cook. "I have won 10 major Opens and Damon has just won his first one. I managed to beat Lutalo just at the weekend, so I feel I have definitely put my stamp on the Olympic selection and I hope they make the right decision.

"It has been a tough schedule in terms of competitions. I went to the US Open and won that and then a week later went to the German.

"I was a little bit tired and jet-lagged and Lutalo managed to beat me by a few points, but I was a bit unlucky in the fight and I felt like it could have gone either way.

"Two weeks later it was the Dutch Open and I fought him again in the semi-finals, beat him and felt really comfortable.

"I managed to put it right from Germany and went on to win the competition, so I feel as if I have definitely turned it around.

"I think I have proven so many times that I am the right person to go."

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