Great Britain celebrate best European medal haul

By Nick HopeBBC Olympic sports reporter at the European Championships in Manchester

Great Britain's taekwondo team secured their best medal haul at a European Championships, with seven in all, as Martin Stamper and Caroline Fisher won bronzes on the final day.

Golds for Aaron Cook, Michael Harvey and Lutalo Muhammad earlier in the event meant GB finished top of the male medal standings and as the second best nation overall in Manchester.

"I'm delighted, it's been a fantastic week," boss Gary Hall told BBC Sport.

"They performed out of their skins."

The Great Britain performance director added: "To set a new British record is a brilliant performance by the athletes and all of the staff.

"We set out to beat the Turks as they hadn't lost in 20 years and so to get the number one slot for the men was phenomenal."

The next task for Hall is to select the four athletes he wishes to take to the London 2012 Olympics.

Cook will be expected to take the -80kg place, but the men's other Olympic class, the -68kg division, is tougher to call.

Stamper was in pole position after a stunning 2011, which culminated in a World Championship bronze medal, but his failure to reach the final in Manchester, coupled with rival Harvey securing -63kg gold, could affect selection.

"I knew I had the capabilities to win it, so I'm disappointed," reflected Stamper.

"I'm confident [about selection], as all of my medals have been in the -68kg's [Olympic class]. Take nothing away from Mike [Harvey] he's done amazingly well, but it's in the division below.

"I would have loved to get into the final because then I would have been going, but now it's up to the selectors," said Stamper.

Hall admitted the women's team still have a "little bit to go" after collecting two bronze medals.

Fisher, who trains outside of the GB programme, was disappointed at failing to reach the -53kg final, which probably rules the 29-year-old out of challenging Jade Jones for the London 2012 -57kg place.

"Everyone wants that shot at being 'the athlete' and obviously a gold today would have been better than a bronze, but it didn't happen," said a tearful Fisher.

"Hopefully I can support Jade if she gets picked."

Liverpool's Bianca Walkden was the GB fighter in the women's -67kg division, but she crashed out in the quarter-finals with a heavy 22-16 defeat to Petra Matijasevic of Croatia.

With world champion Sarah Stevenson said to be recovering "ahead of schedule" following a knee ligament injury earlier this year, Walkden fears that failing to win a medal means her chances of selection are over.

"Obviously it was a big championships and it was the one before the Olympics and I know I should be up there, I just did the wrong thing and got kicked in the face a few too many times," said a clearly upset Walkden.

"I just have to sit back and pray that I can get in on my performance because I gave it everything that I've got."

Great Britain will formally reveal their four Olympic athletes and four reserve fighters for the London 2012 Olympics on Friday 24 May.