Lutalo Looking For Korea Path To World Gold
June 28, 2017
Lutalo Muhammad is a man on a mission when he returns to action in South Korea today (Wednesday) for the first time since the Rio Olympic Games.
Ten months ago Muhammad won a silver medal and the hearts of the nation for a tear jerking interview after his final defeat to Cheick Sallah Cisse.
Now, the former European champion and World Grand Prix finalist gold medallist is back on the mat looking for an elusive World Championship medal in Muju.
The ‘Walthamstow Warrior’ suffered an early exit from the 2013 World Championships and missed the 2015 edition through injury.
Now, he’s bidding to become Britain’s first ever male world champion.
“I’ve won medals at all the other Championships but I’ve not had as much luck, at the World Championships,” says the optimistic Londoner.
“You never go into a fight 100 per cent, no athlete is ever that. But I am feeling very confident this time around.
“From the Games until February, I had a break but I was still doing what was necessary to keep fit, it was more a mental rest.
“I’ve worked on my game plan with my coach. I’m looking good and feeling good.”
Muhammad is one of four GB Taekwondo fighters in action on day five. Bianca Walkden fights tonight in the semi-finals of the women’s heavyweight division while Mahama Cho, fourth at the Rio Games, goes in the male heavyweight class.
There’s also a second World Championship appearance for Jade Slavin at -73kg. “I feel a lot more confident than last time,” said the County Durham-born athlete.
“The first time I had only been on the team a matter of months so I didn’t have much experience.
“Since then I have fought a lot of the girls in my division so I am excited by the prospect. I feel ready,” added 24-year-old Slavin, the 2017 Dutch Open champion.
“Everyone wants gold but I would just love to win a medal. I would be on top of the world.”
*London’s Copper Box Arena is hosting the World Taekwondo Grand Prix from October 20-22. Tickets are now on sale via http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/taekwondo
Wednesday June 28
(W-73kg, M-87 and M+87kg prelims) – Jade Slavin, Lutalo Muhammad & Mahama Cho
(W-53kg, W+73kg and M-58kg FINALS) – Bianca Walkden & Max Cater
Thursday June 29
(W-57kg and M-63kg prelims) – Jade Jones & Bradly Sinden
(W-73kg, M-87 and M+87kg FINALS) – Jade Slavin, Lutalo Muhammad & Mahama Cho
Friday June 30
(W-62kg and M-80kg prelims & FINALS) – Rachelle Booth, Damon Sansum
(W-57kg and M-63kg FINALS) – Jade Jones & Bradly Sinden