Triple gold medal for GB at British Open
British Taekwondo Open Championships
- Venue: Manchester Regional Arena, SportCity
- Date: 1-2 October, 2011
Coverage: Daily reports and selected video highlights on the BBC Sport website; Twitter updates from BBC Sport's Nick Hope - @NickHopeBBC
World Championship silver medallist Jade Jones won her first British Open title on a golden day in Manchester.
The 17-year-old from Wales, beat world number five Marlene Harnois of France 10-8, while team-mates Bianca Walkden and Martin Stamper also won titles.
"Being at home, it's the only time my parents can come and see me, so I'm just buzzing," Jones told BBC Sport.
"There's a lot of pressure on me, but there's a year to go until the Olympics and I'm confident I can handle it."
It has been an incredible first full year in the senior set-up for Jones.
Three medals in two events (German and US Opens) preceeded her world silver and in late May she learnt that her -57kg weight division was being nominated for inclusion at the 2012 Olympics.
"I think a lot of people think I'm ahead of where I should be [heading towards the Olympics], because I've come so far in a short period of time.
"I feel I still have so much to improve, but I'm just glad that I've proved to everybody that I'm up there with the best and I've just got to keep on going," added Jones.
Stamper, who attributed his world championship bronze medal and improved form in 2011 to becoming a father, survived a tense sudden-death match against 2009 British Open champion Francois Sarr of France, before overcoming 2010 European junior champion Amine Manai 6-5 in the semi-finals.
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
However, his victory was something of an anti-climax, with his opponent Mohammad Abulibdeh of Jordan withdrawing through injury just five minutes before they were due to fight.
"It's disappointing to win like that as it would have been a great test in the final, but sometimes that happens," reflected Stamper.
"It's been a great though, from the start of the year I've set my stall out for 2012 and I just want to keep my form up.
"I know if I perform well that I can win matches and medals, so hopefully that'll continue," concluded Stamper.
For Walkden, who defeated Katharina Weiss of Germany 3-2 in sudden-death, this was her fourth successive British Open title.
However, this was perhaps the toughest to date given the Liverpudlian only recently returned to full fitness following a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in February.
"I'm really happy to be honest because it shows that I'm consistent," Walden told BBC Sport.
"I've had a really difficult year, but I've comeback, won in Poland in two weight categories last week and I'm here now so things are starting to look up."
Due to the success of gold medal-winning Sarah Stevenson in the -67kg division at the World Championships this year and that of Jones, Walkden's +73kg division was not nominated by British Taekwondo for next year's Olympics.
As such, Walkden is expected to try and lose enough weight to rival Stevenson for a place in next year's Games.
"I'm not going to give up," stated Walkden.
"Sarah [Stevenson] has done a great job, but obviously as an athlete I have to try my hardest to get there."
On day two much of the focus will be on 2010 European Champion Aaron Cook.
Following three successive opening round defeats, culminating in an early elimination at the World Championships the -80kg fighter quit the British Taekwondo programme in June and is following his own training path in a bid to reach the 2012 Olympics.