Lutalo Muhammad had to settle for silver in the men’s 80kg taekwondo final after the Ivory Coast’s Cheick Sallah Cissse clinched gold with the final kick of the contest.
Leading 6-4, Muhammad couldn’t defend a last-gasp attack from the Ivorian with the 25-year-old eventually losing 8-6.
Muhammad, who won bronze at London 2012, had been in sparkling form all day having seen off Australia’s Hayder Shkara 14-0 in the first round before ending the run of 12th seed Steven Lopez of the USA 9-2 in the quarter-finals.
That victory set up a semi-final clash with the 2016 European champion Milad Harchegani but the Londoner had too much for the Azerbaijani, eventually coming through 12-7, before final second drama of the final.
“The emotions are very raw right now,” said Muhammad. “It’s tough to lose an Olympic final and especially in a match I was winning. But that’s life and that’s sport.
“It is a horrible moment when his score has gone on the board and the time has run out.
“I felt in control of the fight so it’s all the more painful. If I was losing all the way through you can accept it but I came very close to achieving my goal.
“But I’m very happy and proud to be here. Second time Olympian and second time medallist – bronze, silver, so we know what’s next.”
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