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Heartbreak for Jack Woolley as last-gasp kick ends gold medal hopes

The Dubliner took a 13-12 lead into the final round before a late flurry from Guzman proved costly.

Image: James Crombie/INPHO

IRELAND’S FIRST-EVER Taekwondo Olympian Jack Woolley lost out in the dying seconds of his fight against 11th seed Lucas Lautaro Guzman after a last gasp trunk kick. 

It means the best the Dubliner can now do is a bronze medal in the 58kg event. 

6th seed Woolley looked destined for a win after landing a late head kick but was cruelly denied by the Argentine’s final act. A challenge from his coach Robert Taafe added to the drama when he contested for a five-point spinning kick. It was unsuccessful. 

Guzman led 9-6 after the first round before the 22-year old Irishman roared back to take a 13-12 into the final round. 

With five seconds to go, he was ahead before the closing flurry ended his gold medal hopes. The final score was 22-19. 

If Guzman reaches the final, Woolley will enter a repechage competition for the bronze medal. It is a particularly tough result given he also fell agonisingly short of making Rio in 2016. 

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Speaking afterwards he said: “I’m very disappointed, everything was good in the lead up. In our prep, I felt physically great going in. I walked in today and something just didn’t click, it just wasn’t my day. I have to keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best this evening. Sport is unpredictable. I hope everyone else he fights has a similar performance to me, but we have to see – he has to get to the final first.”

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Maurice Brosnan

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