Sport

Team GB’s taekwondo fighter Mahama Cho, 26, secures Rio Olympics place after weekend victory

ON THE ROAD TO RIO: Mahama Cho

ON THE ROAD TO RIO: Mahama Cho

BRITISH TAEKWONDO fighter Mahama Cho has secured a place for Team GB at the Rio Olympics in the +80kg category.

The 26-year-old defeated Carlo Molfetta, the 2012 gold medallist, to reach the final of the European Olympic qualification tournament in Istanbul.

Brought up by his grandmother in West Africa and bullied on a daily basis, Mahama was sent to England as an eight-year-old. He was a talented footballer, but chose taekwondo instead.

“I utilise the pain and hardship I’ve experienced since childhood as motivation every day,” he told the BBC.

At 17, the athlete joined the likes of future Olympic champion Jade Jones and three-time world champion Sarah Stevenson in the British Taekwondo squad.

“I always dreamt of being the best at something and it was a really difficult decision,” he recalled.

He has since won medals at each of the three World Taekwondo Grand Prix events and risen to his current world ranking of four, with a top-six place needed to reach the 2016 Games.

Britain have already secured places via Jade Jones, Bianca Walkden and Lutalo Muhammad.

With a maximum of four berths on offer, Great Britain cannot qualify any more athletes via the European qualifiers.

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