Team GB’s woes in the taekwondo continued as Bianca Walkden suffered an agonising last second loss in the women’s +67kg semi-final to South Korea’s Lee Da-bin.
Two points up with just three seconds to go, Da-bin struck the Liverpudlian with a three-point head kick to steal a 25-24 victory at the death.
Compatriot Bradly Sinden had similarly led in the closing seconds of his men’s final match, only to also suffer a heartbreaking late defeat to Uzbekistan’s Ulugbek Rashitov, and Lauren Williams led by six points with 20 seconds left on the clock in her final before slipping to silver.
'She's a champion' - GB's Walkden wins bronze after semi-final agony
To add insult to injury, Larin Vladislav’s 30-3 dismantling of Hongyi Sun in the men’s 80kg semi-final moments after Walkden’s loss meant that fellow Brit Mahama Cho would not have a shot at the bronze via the repechage.
Having been beaten by Hongyi in the round of 16, Cho would have been back in action had the Chinese competitor made the final.
On Sunday, Walkden had watched on in tears as teammate Jade Jones’ bid to win a historic third consecutive Olympic gold was shockingly cut short in the round of 16.
A three-time world champion, these scenes of anguish were repeated at the Makuhari Messe Hall today as the 29-year-old Brit saw defeat snatched from the jaws of victory.
Jones suffers shock defeat, Walkden left in tears
The competitors entered the final round with nothing to separate them at 10-10, but the South Korean started the closing stage brightest.
A string of video reviews to challenge Gam-jeom penalties disrupted the flow of the round, with several long pauses.
With Gam-jeom’s in mind, Walkden may look back and rue the string of penalties that occurred and ultimately cost her the match – picking up eight gam-jeom’s to her opponents two, a couple short of an automatic disqualification.
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Trailing by three with half a minute remaining, Walkden battled back to take the lead for the first time in the round with just 10 seconds on the clock, before quickly extending the breathing room to two points.
With the contest just moments from ending Da-bin connected with a head-kick, sending Walkden sprawling to the mat and snatching a dramatic win.
The Brit lay prone on the floor, her despair and exhaustion evident as Team GB logged another devastating defeat.
'Wonderful moment' - GB's Williams reaches final to guarantee medal
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‘I feel a little bit dead inside’ – Walkden devastated by last second semi-final loss despite bronze
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