Lutalo Muhammad to return to Great Britain squad for European Champs
Lutalo Muhammad will bid to earn strike gold at the 2016 European Taekwondo Union (ETU) Championships for the second time in his career after being named in a 15-strong British squad.
The 24-year-old triumphed at the 2012 edition of the event but proved unable to replicate that performance two-years later when he finished as the bronze medallist in the men’s under 87 kilogram division.
Muhammad has already qualified a spot for Britain in the under 80kg weight division for this year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, although he has not fought since winning the World Grand Prix final series in Mexico last December.
Damon Sansum, a 2015 World Championship silver medallist, will be hoping to perform well in the under 87kg event at the Championships in Montreux to place further pressure on his team-mate for the Olympic spot.
The under 87kg category is not an Olympic discipline.
“This will be my third European Championships and I am extremely eager to go on and win it,” said Muhammad.
“I do believe I am going to get my title back, of course there is pressure because it’s the last major tournament before the Olympics.
“But it is a good type of pressure.
“In Olympic year, every performance is scrutinised and in every fight you want to show yourself at your best.”
Reigning Olympic champion Jade Jones, who made a comeback from injury at last month’s German Open, will be looking to step up her Rio 2016 preparations by impressing in the women’s under 57kg event at the Championships, which are due to take place from May 19 to 22.
World champion Bianca Walkden and Mahama Cho will head into the competition fresh from gold medals at last month’s World Taekwondo President’s Cup in Bonn, with the duo set to compete in the women’s over 73kg and men’s over 87kg events.
Teenagers Hassan Haider and Bradly Sinden have been selected to compete at senior level for the first time by GB Taekwondo.
The pair are joined in the men’s team by Feyi Pearce, Benjamin Haines and Christian McNeish, while Charlie Maddock, Rachelle Booth, Lauren Williams and Jade Slavin compete the women’s selection.
Source: InsideTheGames (Michael Pavitt)