Every second counts in taekwondo – A look at Team GB’s late misfortunes

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Bianca Walkden’s final-second agony in Tokyo completed a remarkable run of late misfortunes for the otherwise successful Great Britain taekwondo team.

Here, the PA news agency looks back at a series of high-profile Olympic medal matches that more than underscored the old adage that every second really does count.

Bianca Walkden (Rio)

Bianca Walkden shows off her bronze medal
Bianca Walkden had to settle for bronze in Rio (David Davies/PA)

Walkden went to Rio as a strong favourite in the +67kg category having clinched her first world title in Chelyabinsk the previous year. However, after a low-scoring affair against China’s Zheng Shuyin, the bout went to a ‘golden point’ finish – and Zheng scored a three-point lead kick to deny Walkden a place in the final.

Lutalo Muhammad (Rio)

Lutalo Muhammad shows his frustration
Lutalo Muhammad missed out on gold in 2016 (Mike Egerton/PA)

Muhammad stood on the brink of gold against Cheick Sallah Cisse of the Ivory Coast in their -80kg final. Ahead by a point, he looked to have done enough before Cisse scored with a three-point head-kick just as the final buzzer sounded. Muhammad was forced to take home the silver.

Bradly Sinden (Tokyo)

Bradly Sinden shows his disappointment
Bradly Sinden suffered late heartbreak in Tokyo (mike Egerton/PA)

Sinden led his -68kg final against little-known Uzbek Ulugbek Rashitov by two points with eight seconds left on the clock. But a swirling, four-point body kick wrested Rashitov the initiative and a further two-pointer as the Briton tried desperately to respond was enough to leave Sinden settling for silver.

Lauren Williams (Tokyo)

Lauren Williams after her final defeat
Lauren Williams was close to winning gold on Monday (Martin Rickett/PA)

Williams rose from an injury-ravaged year to make an unexpected final in the -67kg category. But she was left in agony after also losing a lead with eight seconds to go. Experienced Croatian Matea Jelic followed up a one-point penalty with a two-point body kick to take victory by three.

Bianca Walkden (Tokyo)

Bianca Walkden reacts to her defeat
Walkden again came up short late on (Mike Egerton/PA)

Walkden experienced more Olympic agony as she fell to South Korea’s Dabin Lee. Walkden actually extended her lead to two points with three seconds left on the clock but there was still time for Lee to launch a three-point head-kick that gave her victory on the buzzer.

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