Bradly Sinden became the second male taekwondo player in Team GB history to win an Olympic medal after securing silver on Games debut at Tokyo 2020.
Sinden followed in the footsteps of Lutalo Muhammad, Olympic silver medallist at Rio 2016 and bronze medallist at London 2012, as well as his hero Sarah Stevenson, who won bronze at Beijing 2008.
The 22-year-old from Doncaster lost out to Uzbekistan teenager Ulugbek Rashitov in a thrilling -68kg gold-medal match, going down 34-29 in the final few seconds of the contest.
Sinden had pulled the fight back, trailing 18-14 after two rounds before taking the lead in the third and final round. Rashitov landed a turning kick and then another kick to the body in the closing stages to win the contest.
The silver is Team GB’s second medal of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, following on from judoka Chelsie Giles’ bronze earlier on the second day.
“The feeling right now is just disappointment, it was my gold medal to give away and it’s a hard one to take,” said Sinden.
“I’m gutting and hard when you get silver, when you win gold or bronze you get to celebrate but you don’t with silver.
“I’ll reflect on this and be proud of what I’ve achieved in these last five years, from having no ranking points to becoming world champion and winning an Olympic silver.
“It was my gold medal to give away – obviously he is a good fighter, I just made a few mistakes. I think I got unlucky with a few things as well but that is taekwondo.
“I knew what time was left and I thought I was controlling it well but he reacted well and caught me.
“I thought he was on the back foot. You have to commend him for what he did – a few mistakes from me, well done to him.”
Sinden has only just finished competing in his first Olympic Games but he already has eyes on the future.
He added: “You’ll see me again in Paris, I’m just getting started.
“Sometimes you learn more than defeats and I’ll be taking that learning curve into Paris and hopefully I can go one better.”