For the first time in their careers, Stevenson, a bronze medallist in Beijing, leads the under 67kg rankings, while 19 year-old Cook, one of the ‘Telegraph Ten‘, is the new world No 1 in the under 80kg category.
Their rise in the rankings comes just two weeks after they each won gold at the European Championships in St Petersburg, where Team GB also won two bronzes, and it sends a powerful message to their rivals ahead of the London Games in just over two years’ time.
Indeed, Cook has now knocked 2012 favourite American Steven Lopez, the five-time world champion and double Olympic champion, off his perch as the long-standing world No 1.
“Great Britain is making significant progress and this puts down a marker towards 2012 – we’ll get stronger,” said Gary Hall, GB’s taekwondo performance director.
“Our rise is clear following a bronze in Beijing, four medals at the European Championships and we missed out on four medals at last year’s World Championships by just four points.”
Hall now hopes this week’s rankings achievement will help boost the sport’s funding.
“At the moment we are just funded by UK Sport and we don’t get any money from Sport England. Hopefully that will now change, especially for our grass roots,” he added.
The GB stars will compete against a world class international field when the British International Open comes to Manchester Regional Arena, Sept 25-26.