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By: Bob Williams for the Telegraph

Taekwondo is one of six Olympic sports receiving funding increases by UK Sport for the final 18 months before the London 2012 Games.

An overall increase of £2.6 million is being shared out between the sports where a chance of winning extra medals has been identified – rowing, gymnastics, hockey, boxing (mainly women’s), taekwondo and canoeing.

Sport Taekwondo UK’s world class performance programme will increase over the next two years in recognition of the sport’s achievements in 2010 and particularly its success in exceeding its targets in major championships this year.

Aaron Cook, Sarah Stevenson, Bianca Walkden and Jade Jones have all had excellent years and there is a strong chance that Britain will improve on the Beijing tally, where Stevenson won bronze, in 2012.

Gary Hall, performance director for Sport Taekwondo, said: “Today’s funding announcement by UK Sport is testament to the talented athletes we have within our system; to the performances of the past 12 months which has seen us win a record number of gold medals in international competition and to the hard work and commitment of all staff within our sport.

“We must also thank UK Sport and every single person who buys a lottery ticket as without this support achievement at the highest level would not be possible for us.

“At the moment we do have some gaps in our development pathway and this money and extra support will ensure we can push on and hopefully continue to achieve success both in London and beyond.

“Building for the future is very much within our current thinking and we will soon be appointing a development manager and coaching staff to oversee this very important aspect of longer term planning.

“These are exciting times for taekwondo in this country and with the support of UK Sport, Sport England, Manchester City Council and KPMG, we are laying solid foundations designed to maintain our growth well into the next decade and to ensure that talented young players from all corners of the UK have a chance to fulfil their potential at the highest level.”

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