Team GB’s 17-year-old Aaron Cook fought with courage and aggression in the men’s -80kg taekwondo competition but was unable to claim a medal for Team GB.
He agonisingly lost 6-5 to Italy’s Mauro Sarmiento in the semi-final and was then beaten comprehensively 4-1 by Zhu Guo of China in the repechage final to narrowly miss out on a bronze medal.
The mid-afternoon semi final was a tight affair with the score tied at 3-3 after the opening two rounds. The scoring progressed to 5-5 in the third and final round until the dying seconds when the Italian delivered the decisive blow to leave Cook distraught.
In an aggressive quarter-final against Venezuelan fighter Carlos Vasquez Carvajal , Cook scored three times in the first round to set up an unassailable lead.
Cook conceded early in round two, and then received a kyong-go (warning), before scoring twice more to open up a 5-1 advantage. Despite losing a point with a kyong-go (deduction) in the third, the 17-year-old British fighter won the competition 5-2 after both he and Vasquez Carvajal scored in the final round.
At the end of the night an obviously disappointed Cook said, “I have never tried so hard in a match but it still wasn’t enough. I didn’t know what else to do. I pushed myself to the limit. I am so gutted to come so close to a medal and miss out.”
Cook was more positive about the future, “Being here was such a great experience. I did my best. I will go home and continue to train hard. In London I will definitely be on the first place podium.”