Injured Cho believes Olympic taekwondo dream still possible

Mahama Cho
British heavyweight Mahama Cho insists he can still reach Rio 2016 despite injury denying him the opportunity to secure early Olympic qualification.

British heavyweight Mahama Cho insists he can still reach Rio 2016 despite injury denying him the opportunity to secure early Olympic qualification.

Cho needed to rank inside the top-six by the end of the year to secure GB a guaranteed place in Brazil for the +80kg division.

However, he now cannot achieve that after a knee injury contributed to a quarter-final defeat at the Manchester Taekwondo Grand Prix.

"It's disappointing, but I'm a fighter and I never give up," Cho told BBC Sport.

Cho suffered the injury at the Serbian Open last week - an event most British fighters missed due to its proximity to the higher-ranking Manchester Grand Prix.

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World Taekwondo GP: Jade Jones & Bianca Walkden target gold

The Ivory Coast born fighter, who has also previously competed for France, does not believe he worsened the lateral ligament injury during his 13-8 loss to Iran's Omid Amidi and hopes to avoid surgery.

"I could look back and say 'oh I shouldn't have done it' [competed in Serbia], but I needed the points," he said.

"I don't see this [loss] as an opportunity gone because I've made big improvements from six months ago and will come back stronger."

London Olympian Martin Stamper exited at the quarter-final stages of the -68kg competition with team-mates Michael Harvey and Jordan Gayle losing in the earlier round.

That division was won by two-time World champion Dae-Hoon Lee of South Korea, with French fighter Haby Naire taking the women's -67kg title and Uzbekistan's Dmitry Shokin claiming men's heavyweight gold.

Saturday will see Olympic -57kg champion Jade Jones and World +67kg gold medallist Bianca Walkden battle for honours.

Whilst Jones has already secured GB an Olympic place for Rio, Walkden needs a podium finish to achieve the same in her division.

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Mahama Cho - taekwondo Olympian

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