Confident Muhammad foresees nothing but gold at Europeans

Olympic bronze medallist Lutalo Muhammad can foresee no other outcome apart from defending his European title in Baku this week – and the stats largely back up his confidence.

The 22-year-old taekwondo player has been in fine form since winning the -87kg title at the Europeans in 2012, first going on to win Olympic -80kg bronze later that year.

Muhammad is also the current world No.1 and World Grand Prix champion and is so confident in Azerbaijan that he expects gold to already be wrapped up.

"I am going to defend my title successfully and in style. That's on the record. Physically, mentally and spiritually I am in the best shape I could be for these Championships,” said Muhammad.

"I can kick well, I can punch well. I am in such good spirits. I have really put the work in for these Championships but that goes for the squad as a whole.

“We've had teams from Poland, Serbia and Korea over to the GB Academy in Manchester help us prepare for this event and I am sure that will bring the best out of everyone in Baku."

At last year’s World Championships in Mexico however Muhammad lost in the round of 16 but he insists he’s better for the experience – shown in his confidence.

"The World Championships were a wake-up call for all us," he added. "We were expected to win medals in Puebla and it didn't happen.

"Since then we have analysed ourselves as athletes and the staff has done the same. We made changes and these changes have been for the better.”

© Sportsbeat 2014