London 2012

Stamper's fight for medal

Taekwondo underdog eyes Olympic glory

By Rebecca Stephenson (follow me @1rebs).   Last Updated: 15/07/12 3:04pm

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Martin Stamper: Taekwondo fighter hoping to upset the odds in London

Martin Stamper: Taekwondo fighter hoping to upset the odds in London

Martin Stamper believes he can produce a surprise result and claim a Taekwondo medal at London 2012.

The Liverpool-born fighter is probably the least fancied of the four-strong Team GB squad which includes a World Champion, a European Champion and a World silver medallist.

But he is hoping that, as the underdog, he will not be under the same pressure as the others and feels confident he can emerge from the shadows.

However Stamper is far from an unknown. He claimed bronze at the World Championships last year, and repeated the feat in this year's European Championships in Manchester.

And the fact that he gets a favourable seeding as a 'home fighter' means he may just get an attractive draw for his competition, which gets underway at the ExCeL centre on August 6.

Balance

He said: "For me now it will be about getting a good balance of being proud that you have been selected, but also putting in the training that is needed to, because I am not going to London just to take part - I am going there to win a medal.

"If I can put three or four good performances in, then I could get on that podium. At the moment, I am probably going in as a bit of an underdog, but I like that."
Martin Stamper Quotes of the week

"If I can put three or four good performances in, then I could get on that podium. At the moment, I am probably going in as a bit of an underdog, but I like that.

"The Olympics will have the top 16 guys in the world, so every fight is going to be tough, and I will need to be at my best on the day - but with the great training I have been getting and support from everyone, I know I can achieve that.

"Everything we have done in training has been towards maximising my performance when I get to the Olympics

"We are doing some different things which will improve my performance."

Relieved

Stamper admits to being relieved that the controversy surrounding the omission of world number one Aaron Cook is now over.

Cook was overlooked in favour of Lutalo Muhammad, who won the European Championships in the under-87kgs category.

But the political wrangling had an effect on the rest of the squad.

Stamper continued: "Thankfully it has simmered down now, but at the time it did overshadow

things.

"At the start, Jade Jones, Sarah Stevenson and I had been named, but we could not say anything.

"I was on a bit of a downer for a week or two, because I wanted to tell everybody, but when it finally got released, I was getting lots of support.

Now the 25-year-old just can't wait for the Games to begin. "I went down to where the Olympic torch was coming through Liverpool and it was a great atmosphere," he added.

"I have seen some of the guys in the official Team GB kit, and it all looks amazing."

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