World Taekwondo: Lutalo Muhammad targets gold after Olympic heartache

Lutalo Muhammad
Lutalo Muhammad is aiming to be the first British man to win World Championship gold.
World Taekwondo Championships
Venue: T1 Arena, Muju, South Korea Dates: 24-30 June
Coverage: BBC Red Button, connected TV and online

Olympic silver medallist Lutalo Muhammad will compete for the first time since Rio 2016 at the World Taekwondo Championships this week.

Muhammad, 26, suffered a last-second defeat in the -80kg final and underwent knee surgery after the Games.

"I feel like this is my time to win," he told BBC Sport.

The event in Muju, South Korea, also features double Olympic champion Jade Jones, who is seeking her first world title.

As with previous major events outside of the Olympics, Muhammad will compete in the heavier non-Olympic -87kg division, rather than the -80kg Olympic weight category he contested at London 2012 and Rio 2016.

The fighter is hoping world success will help him and his supporters move on from his Olympic heartache, having been reminded of his tear-jerking post-fight interview on an almost daily basis since last summer's Games.

Bianca Walkden
Bianca Walkden is aiming for back-to-back gold medals at the World Championship.

"The reception I received from the public was outstanding, they all felt the pain with me and I feel like I have more supporters than ever before," he said.

"It's given me a lot of determination though because I can't leave it like that - I have to go for some gold medals and give them some happy memories."

Two years ago team-mate Bianca Walkden become only the second British taekwondo fighter in history - after Sarah Stevenson - to claim World Championship gold.

She was disappointed to "only" secure bronze at the Rio Olympics and determined to win more major honours.

"No British fighter has ever won back-to-back titles so I want to be the first to do that," she told BBC Sport.

"There's less pressure, as I've won it in the past, but I've been dreaming of the symbol I would make with my hands if I do the double so it's definitely a motivation."

Damon Sansum (-80kg), a world silver medallist in 2015, heavyweight Mahama Cho (+87kg), who was fourth at Rio 2016, and double world junior champion Lauren Williams (-67kg) are among GB's other leading medal contenders

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