Muhammed takes bronze
August 10, 2012 22:06 pm
Britain's taekwondo fighter Lutalo Muhammad battled to an Olympic bronze medal with victory over Arman Yeremyan of Armenia in the under-80kgs at ExCeL.
Muhammad, 21, made the last eight before he was beaten by Nicolas Garcia Hemme. However, as the Spaniard went on to reach the final, the Briton was handed a second chance through the repechage where he beat Iran's Yousef Karami, winning 11-7 against the 2004 Athens bronze medallist.
That set up a clash with beaten semi-finalist Yeremyan, and the Team GB fighter, raised just a few miles away in Walthamstow, finally did himself justice with an all action display to win 9-3.
Muhammad, European champion earlier this summer at the under-87kg middleweight, came out to a raucous reception, the hosts having roared Wales teenager Jade Jones on to gold in the under-57kgs on Thursday.
The 21-year-old landed an early head shot inside the first 30 seconds, which was upheld on video appeal and he led 4-1 at the buzzer.
The Briton slowed things down in round two, as he moved 5-2 ahead - and then landed another big axe kick as Yeremyan backed out of the mat to open up an eight-point advantage.
Muhammad controlled the final two minutes as he became Britain's first male Olympic taekwondo medallist.
Muhammad said: "We don't normally get a second chance, and there was no way I was going to lose this opportunity.
"My coaches told me 'this bronze is now your gold medal, so you have to treat it as a final and go for it.' That got me in the right state mentally.
"Bronze is not the colour I wanted, but it was hard earned, so I am very grateful to have this reward and hopefully next time, I can go two further to get that Olympic gold medal".
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