Britain's Aaron Cook wins gold at taekwondo 2012 test event

Aaron Cook continued his return to form and gave Britain a home victory at taekwondo's Olympic test event.

The 20-year-old European under-80kg champion beat Yousef Karami on his way to the final, before opponent Ramin Azizov was forced out through injury.

"It was good to fight and beat Yousef Karami - probably one of the favourites for gold next year," said Cook.

"Just to stand in front of him in this arena with all the crowd was fantastic, and to get the win was pretty special."

Cook began the year ranked number one in the world but suffered a surprise first-round exit at the World Championships in May,  before quitting British Taekwondo's World Class Performance Programme in the summer. 

It is a great stage, the technology seems to be working really well and our athletes are getting a good experience from it

Gary Hall British Taekwondo performance director

He won the British Open title in October and now turns his attention to the Olympic qualifying competitions ahead of next year's final squad selection.

But the Dorset fighter admitted he would like to have had the chance to take on experienced Azerbaijan fighter Azizov on home soil.

"I would loved to have fought him in front of family and friends, and I have lost three times to him this year. I didn't fight great today, but I put in a couple of good wins, so who knows what would have happened," said Cook.

"It looks like he has picked up a little injury and he probably wants to fight at the French Open next week like myself.

"It is just a test event here really so not that important. Hopefully, he will be in Paris and we will get to the final again so we can have that match."

Leading GB squad members Sarah Stevenson, Jade Jones and Martin Stamper did not compete but paid visits to the ExCel centre over the weekend, while London fighter Lutalo Muhammad went out at the quarter-final stage and Stella Whitehead also lost in her second contest of the women's over-67kgs.

Josh Webley was beaten 7-3 by Germany's Levent Tuncat in the quarter final of the -68 kilogram division on Saturday, and Sophie Threlfall lost 21-0 to Maeva Countant in the women's -49kg division.

"It is a great stage, the technology seems to be working really well and our athletes are getting a good experience from it," said British Taekwondo performance director Gary Hall.

"There will be another 7,000 or so seats here at the Games, so the environment is going to be slightly different, but for the field of play itself, it will be no different, so things around the venue itself are all looking OK."