Taekwondo: Bianca Walkden hopes to prove her Olympic credentials
British Taekwondo Open Championships
- Venue: Manchester Regional Arena, SportCity
- Date: 1-2 October, 2011
Coverage: Daily reports and select video highlights on the BBC Sport website; twitter updates from BBC Sport's Nick Hope - @NickHopeBBC
World Combat Games champion Bianca Walkden hopes this weekend's British Open in Manchester will give her the chance to prove her Olympic potential.
The Liverpudlian has had a difficult year, rupturing her anterior cruciate ligament and learning her weight division was not selected for 2012 .
"I've held my teddy at night, that's how hard it's been," said Walkden.
"I'm getting through it now and trying to see how I can reach London, win Europeans and the British Open."
Gary Hall GB performance director
“It was hard to leave Walden's division out of 2012 selection, but she is world class and I'm sure she'll win other World and Olympic medals”
After an impressive 2010 Walkden climbed to world number two in her +73kg division, but injury struck in February of this year.
Despite defying the odds to reach the World Championships in South Korea, a gold medal for Sarah Stevenson in the -67kg category and a silver for Welsh -57kg fighter Jade Jones saw their divisions nominated for the London Olympics .
The 20-year-old will compete at her usual weight in the British Championships in Manchester, but is not ruling out a change later in the year, having claimed gold in two weight categories at the recent Polish Open.
"I'm going to see if I can do 67 and make the weight and try for that spot," Walkden told BBC Sport.
"Obviously I'll be the reserve for that spot if [world champion] Sarah Stevenson gets injured or can't make it then I'll step in, but if there's anything I can do to try and go anyway, I'll try.
Walkden added, "I can't give up can I? It's not me, I'm going to go for it."
Stevenson, her likely rival for the -67kg division Olympic position, is not competing at the British Open.
Team GB Olympic contenders:
- Jordan Gayle
- Tony Grisman
- Michael Harvey
- Martin Stamper
- Aaron Cook
- Andrew Deer
- Lutalo Muhammad
- Damon Sansum
- Sophie Dickson
- Caroline Fisher
- Jade Jones
- Sarah Stevenson
- Bianca Walkden
* One fighter from each of the divisions will be selected for Team GB in 2012
Great Britain's performance director Gary Hall has hailed the field for the British Championships as the 'strongest ever'.
"Outside the World Championship, it is probably the best quality line-up assembled for an Open of this kind," said Hall.
On Sunday attention will turn to the men's -80kg division where European Champion and former World number one Aaron Cook will compete for the first time on home soil since he decided to quit the GB programme in June.