Taekwondo pair see an abrupt end to their hopes of gold

Of all the 542 athletes chosen to represent Team GB, Lutalo Muhammad had to endure perhaps the most lengthy and painful selection process. Sadly, his battle for gold in the Olympic taekwondo contest was abrupt but no less agonising.

The 21-year-old Londoner, who was selected ahead of world No 1 Aaron Cook, lost his second bout in the under-80kg division to a Spanish opponent yesterday, leaving him to fight for bronze in a further contest due last night.

Muhammad, who revealed that he had received hate mail over the controversial decision to drop Cook from the taekwondo squad, fell to the floor in despair in the ExCeL after losing 7-3 to Nicolas Hemme Garcia.

The fighter, who was born in Walthamstow, said: "There are no excuses to be made. I am very disappointed. I came here to win gold, and that is an opportunity which won't come across again [to fight at a home Olympics], but I have to live with that."

Cook, who had threatened to take the decision not to select him all the way to the High Court, said yesterday that he was desperate to represent Britain at Rio 2016 but feared his relationship with British Taekwondo was broken beyond repair.

He told BBC Radio 5 Live: "All my training and everything I am going to do now is going to be based towards [Rio] and I am really excited … All I can do is keep my head down, keep focused, keep trying to win and win more titles and hopefully they'll select me."

A day after the triumph of Welsh teenager Jade Jones, hopes had been high that Britain would continue their golden start in the contact sport.

But there was further disappointment when another medal hope, Sarah Stevenson, 29, lost in her opening round of the under-67kg division.

Stevenson, whose parents died within months of each other last year, had fought back from injury after tearing a ligament earlier this year but succumbed to her American opponent, Paige McPherson, 5-1.

The Doncaster-based fighter, who saw her chances of proceeding to a bronze medal contest end when McPherson subsequently failed to reach the final, said: "The injury did not play a part today. It has been a mental fight every day for the last 18 months, and I did my best.

"My mum and dad would have wanted me to be here, and they would have been proud. I would have been forgiven for sitting and crying in a corner, but I am not a quitter."

News
Alex Salmond said he accepted 'the democratic verdict of the people'
newsSNP leader says Scotland must move forward as 'one nation'
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
tvSeries celebrates 20th anniversary
Sport
Yaya Touré (left) and Bayern Munich’s Spanish defender Juan Bernat
footballToure's lack of defensive work is big problem for City
Voices
voicesApple continually kill off smaller app developers, and that's no good for anyone
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Sport
Wembley Stadium
footballNews follows deal with Germany
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

News
ScienceGallery: Otherwise known as 'the best damn photos of space you'll see till 2015'
Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week