Hall hails European Taekwondo Championships squad

06 May 2014 / 15:22

Great Britain Taekwondo performance director Gary Hall insists his squad can hold their heads up high after coming back from Azerbaijan and the European Championships laden with silverware.

Hall’s squad returned from Baku with seven medals to show for their efforts, the highlight being a first European title for Bianca Walkden.

The seven medals – with the likes of London Olympians Jade Jones and Lutalo Muhammad winning silver and bronze respectively – was particularly pleasing considering Great Britain failed to take home any medals from the 2013 World Championships in Mexico.

But despite revealing his delight at their European haul, Hall is not about to let his stable rest on their laurels.

“It’s good to see the team bounce back from the Worlds,” he said. “We were so close to three or four medals but came away with none.

“Athletes and staff have worked really hard since then and they’ve turned it around.  To get so many medals in Baku, our best ever performance, is really stunning.

“And it wasn’t just all about our established performers. This time we’ve had a number of new major medal winners.

“Young Asia (Bailey) was fantastic on day one while Ruebyn Richards went so close on the final day, denied a place in his final only on the referees’ verdicts.

“Andy Deer, like Ruebyn another Fighting Chance graduate, and Damon Sansum, fought so well. But Bianca’s gold was a particular highlight and it was great to see her win her first major title.

“Obviously we would like to have won more gold medals but this sport really is about fine margins.

“How to convert bronze and silver medals into gold is something we will take back to the Academy and work on ahead of the Grand Prix series.

“But all in all it’s been a championship full of positives for GB.”

© Sportsbeat 2014