LONDON 2012: Stamper bronze could open way for close friend Harvey in Olympic selection
BRITISH Taekwondo officials have been posed a difficult selection dilemma after the European Championships in Manchester.
CHOICES: Michael Stamper settled for featherweight bronze at the European Championship while selection rival Michael Harvey won bantamweight gold
Michael Stamper settled for bronze in the featherweight category, one of the four classes Team GB elected to contest this summer.
But Stamper's rival Michael Harvey, competing in the non-Olympic bantamweight classification, took gold.
Stamper and Harvey both medalled at last year's World Championships, winning bronze and silver respectively.
But Stamper's form this season has been better, winning the British Open and claiming silver at the French Open. In contrast, this weekend was Harvey's first trip to the podium of 2012 - although it was a winning one.
"Martin Stamper is a good friend but all I can do is hope," said Harvey.
"This is the last competition before the Olympics and I've done as much as I can by winning it."
Selection in the other Olympic weights now appears locked down, world champion Sarah Stevenson was absent in Manchester after picking up a knee injury during a recent training camp.
Bianca Walkden dropped down from heavyweight, where she won bronze two years ago, to contest the Olympic weight in the hope of giving selectors something to think about.
But she tearfully lost in the quarter-finals.
Youth Olympic champion and world silver medallist Jade Jones will surely get the nod in the featherweight category, despite being disappointed with her bronze in Manchester.
And Aaron Cook, who retained his middleweight title yesterday, is also but assured selection.
© Sportsbeat 2012