Baku 2015: Dad's advice spurs Muhammad towards bronze

18 June 2015 / 15:14

Taekwondo player Lutalo Muhammad admitted the words of his father were ringing in his ears as he won a stunning bronze medal at the European Games.

Muhammad’s place on the plane to Baku was thrown into question after he underwent knee surgery just last month.

But the London 2012 bronze medallist recovered in time and looked like nothing would hold him back as he opened up with a 16-4 victory over Bulgarian Teodor Georgiev.

However, the chance to fight for gold went out of the window after Muhammad lost his next fight against home favourite Milad Beigi Harchegani.

But after getting a second chance through the repechage Muhammad beat Serbian Damir Fejzic by golden point before defeating Roberto Botta of Italy 12-7 to take home a bronze medal – much to his delight.

“This is a very emotional moment, to come here five weeks post surgery,” he said. “A lot of people supported me and there were times when there were doubts over whether I would make it.

“The fact that I am here and able to compete with the best in the world is great. I really wanted to get a gold medal for everyone that supported me.

“I tried my best under the circumstances and a bronze medal will have to do for today. I feel very blessed to be in this position when so recently I was injured.

“My dad used to say things like ‘champions get up when they can't’ and I managed to turn it all around after losing out to the Azerbaijan athlete and was going to get that bronze medal no matter what.

“To come into this five weeks after the surgery was a blessing and to take home a medal is amazing.

“We did the best with the preparation, I did come here to win gold but I tried my best and still feel blessed to take home a medal.”

© Sportsbeat 2015