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Beijing Olympian Michael Harvey may have punched below his weight at the WTF World Championships in South Korea.
But it hasn’t stopped the Cheshire based star adding to Britain’s growing medal haul at the Gyeongju Arena.
And he’s determined to turn a guaranteed bronze into more precious metal on the final day of competition tomorrow (Friday) when he faces Vietnam’s Le Huynh Chau in the semi-final.
Harvey’s medal in the -63kg division is Britain’s fourth of the week with Bianca Walkden, the world number three, and heavyweight Mahama Cho still to compete.
Mottram based Harvey usually fight at -68kg but shed the kilos to gain his place because of Martin Stamper’s outstanding form in 2011.
Indeed, Stamper duly added bronze in Gyeongju to this year’s US and German Open titles.
So, Harvey’s performances have given Great Britain Performance Director, Gary Hall, another dilemma before nominating two men’s and two women’s weight categories for the London Olympics next Wednesday.
“It’s more of the same for me tomorrow,” says Manchester United fan Harvey.
“I definitely think I can go all the way.”
Harvey, 21, won four matches to reach the semi-finals including a 5-2 quarter-final win over Bulgaria’s Vladimir Dalakliev. And he had to keep his composure when the start was delayed due to technical problems.
“It was quite tough mentally keeping it altogether but I got some good advice from my coach, Steve Jennings. He made sure I was calm and relaxed.”
Former world kick boxing champion Damon Sansum acquitted himself well in his first WTF World Championships.
But the 24-year-old German born, Elgin based player was still disappointed by his last 16 exit.
Sansum, who only came into taekwondo nine months ago after being promoted through the ‘Fighting Chance’ initiative, lost 16-8 to Italy’s European champion, Carlo Molfetta.
The scores were level going into the last round and despite some encouraging kicks, Sansum bowed out.
“I felt strong and felt like I dominated the fight but some of my shots I know hit, didn’t get scored.
“And yet I just got clipped and he got four points. It just didn’t go my way but I gave him a good fight.”
Last 64: Michael Harvey(GB) bt Mario Gajardo (Chile) 7-1
Last 32:bt Mario Silva (Portugal) 14-10
Last 16: bt Khalifa Sarr (Senegal) 9-2
Quarter-finals: bt Vladimir Dalakliev (Bulgaria) 5-2
Semi-finals: v Le Huynh Chau (Vietnam)
Last 64: Damon Sansum (GB) bt Aydal Ozalp (Australia) 7-6
Last 32: bt Sagynysh Kalimbetov (Kazakstan) 5-3
Last 16: lost 16-8 to Carlo Molfetta (Italy) 16-8.
For further information contact:
Steve Flynn
GB Taekwondo
Telephone:         07808 773264
Trevor Baxter
Red and White Sport
Telephone:         07768 846839
GB Taekwondo
GB Taekwondo is responsible for the preparation, management and performance of Britain’s elite athletes at major international championships as well as for delivering major taekwondo events, including:
BTCB National Championships, 18-18 June 2011
British Open, 1-2 October 2011
2012 European Taekwondo Championships, 3-6 May 2012
For further information on GB Taekwondo visit:
And follow GB Taekwondo on Twitter: @teamgbtaekwondo