GB's Sinden settles for silver after final loss
Last Updated: 25/07/21 2:32pm Bradley Sinden fell short of the Olympic taekwondo title but won Team GB their first silver medal in Tokyo on his Games debut. Uzbekistan's 19-year-old Ulugbek Rashitov p
Team GB's Bradly Sinden settles for silver medal on his Olympic debut in men's -68kg taekwondo after losing out in final against Uzbekistan's Ulugbek Rashitov; Judoka Chelsie Giles won Britain first medal of 2020 Games by beating Switzerland's Fabienne Kocher in bronze medal match
Last Updated: 25/07/21 2:32pm
Bradley Sinden fell short of the Olympic taekwondo title but won Team GB their first silver medal in Tokyo on his Games debut.
Uzbekistan's 19-year-old Ulugbek Rashitov prevailed over the Brit in the final of the men's -68kg category, winning his country their first gold medal in Tokyo.
Sinden - who was so impressive in his first three bouts - had the chance to do the same for Team GB but it was not to be for the 22-year-old from Doncaster.
Rashitov started the contest strongly and landed a double combination of head kicks which saw him lead 13-8 after the first period.
Sinden tried to mount a fightback in the second, stemming the tide against his opponent and landing a key combination to bring it back to a three-point contest just before the end of the round.
An action-packed final round saw the two fighters jostle for the lead but eventually a head kick and spinning kick to the trunk saw Rashitov claim the vital points in a 34-29 win.
The Brit was in impressive form ahead of the final, firstly dispatching New Zealand's Tom Burns 53-8 and then securing a 20-point win against Turkey's Hakan Recber in the quarters.
He then produced a stunning final-round fightback in his semi-final contest against China's Olympic champion Shuai Zhao, having trailed him by seven points before summoning a series of scoring shots to turn the tie around.
Earlier on Sunday, British taekwondo had suffered a shock when two-time Olympic champion Jade Jones was knocked out of the women's -57kg competition by Refugee Team fighter Kimia Alizadeh.
Giles wins Team GB first medal in Tokyo
Chelsie Giles collected Great Britain's first medal of the Tokyo Olympics and revealed afterwards that winning bronze in the country where judo was founded was "extra special".
The Coventry judoka overcame Macedonia's Arbresha Rexhepi and Morocco's Soumiya Iraoui in the women's -52kg category on Sunday before losing to home favourite and eventual gold medallist Uta Abe at the quarter-final stage.
But the repechage offered the 24-year-old an alternative route to a podium place and she duly grasped the chance, defeating Belgium's Charline Van Snick and then Switzerland's Fabienne Kocher by Ippon at the Nippon Budokan.
Her debut Games was therefore one to remember for Giles, who bagged her first Grand Slam gold medal in Israel earlier this year, and she believes the achievement is even more unforgettable because it took place in Japan.
"It feels very special to do it in Japan," she said. "It's an amazing arena, the atmosphere was amazing and to do it where judo started makes it extra special.
"I felt really good in the warm-up and I was taking each fight as it came. It went really well, I believed that I could do it and my coach has always believed I can do it and it showed in my performances.
"I never underestimate any of my fights, I think that's when mistakes are made, so I go into the fight knowing what they do and knowing what I'm capable of doing.
"With my best performance I know I can beat some of the top players and my performances showed that."
- ^ two-time Olympic champion Jade Jones was knocked out (www.skysports.com)