sport news Tokyo Olympics: Taekwondo star Mahama Cho is trying to create a piece of ...

sport news Tokyo Olympics: Taekwondo star Mahama Cho is trying to create a piece of ...
sport news Tokyo Olympics: Taekwondo star Mahama Cho is trying to create a piece of ...

There is always heartbreak to go with elation at the Olympics and in the midst of Team GB's triumphant Rio Games five years ago, one image of visceral, sobbing despair still haunts those who saw it. 

Lutalo Muhammad was half a second away from claiming the first ever taekwondo gold for a British man when he was denied by the last kick of the -80kg contest by the Ivory Coast's Cheick Sallah Cisse. 

Interviewed on television minutes later, Muhammad was inconsolable. The dream of a first gold for the men's taekwondo team is still there.

Mahama Cho hopes to become the first Team GB athlete to win the gold medal in taekwondo

Mahama Cho hopes to become the first Team GB athlete to win the gold medal in taekwondo

Lutalo Muhammad was half a second away from claiming the first ever taekwondo gold for a British man in 2016

Lutalo Muhammad was half a second away from claiming the first ever taekwondo gold for a British man in 2016

In the women's events, Jade Jones will attempt to become one of a select band of athletes to win a gold in three consecutive Olympics when she fights today but Muhammad is not here to try to salve his pain. 

He missed out on qualification to his friend Mahama Cho and so it will be Cho's turn to try to create a piece of British Olympic history when he fights on Tuesday.

Cho is an ideal antidote to the memory of Muhammad's agony. He is renowned within Team GB for his relentless positivity and good humour. 

As he sits in an office at the team's preparation camp at the Hiyoshi campus of Keio University, near Yokohama, he is bursting with enthusiasm about the task that lies ahead and the joy of the opportunity that awaits him at Makuhari Messe Hall this week. Being here, he says, is a 'total vibe'. 

When it is mentioned that he and Muhammad are friends, he demurs. 'Big LT,' he says.   

Jade Jones will attempt to become one of a select band of athletes to win a gold in three consecutive Olympics

Jade Jones will attempt to become one of a select band of athletes to win a gold in three consecutive Olympics

'We are more than friends. We are brothers. We are brothers in the ring and out of the ring. If anything, a lot of my success comes down to how I train with him and how we push each other. When you have challenges in your own country, it prepares you for what is next.

'But this is not a sympathy game. It is a combat sport. You want to be the best, you want to make sure that you are on top of your opponent, you want to show them that you are the No1 contender and you have to do that each and every day. 

'I was just grateful the federation chose me as the athlete to go there and bring home the gold medal. That's it. In our team, we have the best fighters in the world and our main priority is to bring home the best result for our country. Whoever they pick should be the person who brings home that gold medal.' 

There are many who argue that taekwondo is, pound-for-pound, the strongest British team at these Olympics. They have sent five competitors, the most ever, and

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