Given its status as sport’s biggest and most prestigious competition, the Olympic games are often the source of great athletic emotion.
From the anarchic ecstasy of winning a gold medal to the unbridled sadness of missing out on expectations, the summer games can be a rewarding and cruel mistress.
Unfortunately, Team GB’s Lutalo Muhammad is no stranger to the latter. Moreover, the Taekwondo fighter expressed such emotions in an interview after his heartbreakingly narrow defeat in the -80kg final.
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With Jade Jones having scooped gold in the women’s -57kg climax, expectations were high as regards British prospects in the Taekwondo camp.
Such hopes were only augmented by Muhammad’s rise to the final as he claimed prominent scalps along the way to his shot at gold.
The final opponent proved Ivory Coast’s Cheick Sallah Cisse and the pair put on a closely fought match. Nonetheless, it was Muhammad who established a 6-4 lead going into the dying seconds.
Despite this, with the match moments from completion, the Ivorian delivered a reverse turning kick to turn the fixture on its head. Cisse ran off joyously with his sharp kick having secured an unlikely 8-6 turn-around.
The 25-year-old Brit was literally one second away from gold, only for it to be so cruelly snatched.
Consequently, when the BBC conducted an interview so quickly after the heartbreak, there was no surprise that Muhammad was distraught.
Crying throughout, he expresses great sadness at having come so close to his dream. The touching exchange can be seen below:
Given that the summer games are quadrennial and margins so small, the London-born fighter will have to wait four years to try and atone for that one second.
It’s the latest reminder that the Olympics are a double-edged sword and can both make and break the athletes who tackle them.
Is this the most heartbreaking moment of the 2016 Olympics? Have YOUR say in the comment box below
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