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Walthamstow’s 21-year-old beaten by Spain’s Nicolas Garcia Hemme

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Walthamstow’s Lutalo Muhammad was knocked out of the -80kg men’s taekwondo competition following a quarter-final defeat against Nicolas Garcia Hemme of Spain.

The fight began in a similar fashion to Muhammad’s first-round fight against Farkhod Negmatov, with both men contesting a cagey opening round, with neither registering a single point.

The action improved in the second round, as both fighters continued to size each other up, but the two minutes ended with the scores at 1-1, with the fight ready to be won or lost during the third.

However, in the third and final round, Hemme landed the first meaningful blow of the match with a strong head shot into Muhammad’s face.

And it proved too much for the 21-year-old to come back from, as the Spaniard ran out a 7-3 win, moving onto the semi-final stage of the competition.

“I think I had it in me to win the fight,” said Muhammad.

“I am disappointed in myself and I apologise to the fans who made the atmosphere terrific today.

“I did try my hardest, but it wasn’t enough.

“Nicolas is a good opponent, he did his homework, but there is no excuse and I wanted to win.

“I guess it wasn’t to be today. The crowd were wonderful and I am very grateful and just sorry that I couldn’t deliver.”

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