Taekwondo Brit struggling to qualify

Damon Sansum admits he is facing an uphill task to qualify for the London 2012 Olympics.


Aaron Cook will defend his European taekwondo middleweight title next month in Manchester and British team-mate Sansum admits the 21-year old is a heavily-fancied frontrunner for Olympic selection.

Sansum will fight at heavyweight, which has not been selected as one of British Taekwondo's Olympic weights, and can only hope to put himself in contention should Cook fail to perform, as he did at last year's World Championships.

There are eight taekwondo events at the Games - four for men, four for women - and each nation may enter a team of up to two men and two women, forcing a focus on best medal prospects.

Cook's middleweight class was selected along with men's and women's featherweight and women's welterweight, the latter three all seeing British world medallists last year.

"It feels a bit unfair that we couldn't be represented in more weights but it is the same rules for everyone," said Sansum, 25, a former world kick boxing champion who only made the transition to taekwondo two years ago.

"It's hard because we've got such strength in depth and athletes to be competitive in more than four divisions, which we proved at last year's World Championships when the same restrictions don't apply.

"Aaron has been dominating the sport for a while and he's obviously the frontrunner but the Europeans are still a chance to show yourself to selectors as anything could happen.

"I'm still going to strive to do as much as I can to put myself forward for the Games.

"However, I need to remember that I'm new to the sport and I've got another Olympics to look ahead to.

"I've exceeded my expectations already and I'm in a good position at the moment. London would be amazing but Rio was always in my plan."

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