Sansum Suffers Sinking Feeling Against Iranian Rival At World Grand Prix
Rio 2016 hopefuls Damon Sansum and Lutalo Muhammad suffered quarter-final heartbreak at the WTP World Grand Prix in Turkey today. (Saturday)
For Sansum, it was a bad case of deja vu as he missed out on a medal for only the second time this year against Iranian -74kg world champion Masoud Hajizavareh.
It was another Iranian-Mahdi Khodabakhshi- who had relegated Sansum into second place at the World Championships final n Russia earlier this year.
On this latest occasion, he slugged it out for three exciting rounds with Hajizavareh before the GB Academy star went down 13-11.
An already absorbing match came to life in round three as both men traded head shots in an attempt to break the deadlock. The match was heading for overtime until Hajizavereh forced Sansum out of the ring, giving him no time to recover.
“I started slowly but picked up in the second round and caught him with a good head shot,” explained the big Scot. “I thought I’d caught him in the face but it wasn’t given and we didn’t have a card to appeal.
“It was even then until the last few seconds and I made a mistake, conceding and then going out of the ring. It’s disappointing and it’s given me a few tactical things to iron out.”
London 2012 bronze medallist Muhammad was involved in another exciting last eight tie against Ivory Coast’s Cheick Sallah Cisse.
Muhammad trailed 11-3 at the end of the first round but clawed his way back but couldn’t overhaul his deficit with a big head shot towards the end of the contest.
“It’s frustrating to lose at any time but there were plenty of positives there for me as well,” said the Walthamstow Warrior who, like Sansum, will aim for redemption at Manchester’s leg of the World Grand Prix at the Regional Arena from October 16-18.
“He had a great first round and I did well to almost pull it back. I’ll study the fights, look at myself and bring it back better for Manchester next month.”
European Games gold medallist, Charlie Maddock, went out in the first round at -49kg but there were plenty of positives for the Stoke on Trent. Faced by South Korea’s world champion Ha, Min-Ah Maddock forced her rival to golden point only to get caught on the counter for a head shot winner.
Teenager Max Cater also suffered an early exit but played his part in a high scoring clash against Mexican Carlos Navarro, a former World Youth champion and Moscow Grand Prix silver medallist.
Round One: Lost 20-11 to Carlos Navarro (MEX)
Round One: Beat Peerathep Sila-on (THA) 17-5
Round Two: Beat Jaysen Ishida (USA) 9-5
Quarter Final: Lost 13-11 to Masoud Hajizavareh (IRI)
Round One: Beat Damir Fejzic (SRB) 6-5 (golden point – punch)
Round Two: Beat Torann Maizeroi (FRA) 13-6
Quarter Final: Lost 17-12 to Cheick Sallah Cisse (CIV)
Round One: Lost to Ha, Min-Ah (KOR) 3-2 (golden point)