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Heartbreak for Dublin's Jack Woolley as taekwondo fighter exits Olympics in agonising fashion

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Jack Woolley of Ireland reacts after defeat to Lucas Lautaro Guzman

Jack Woolley of Ireland reacts after defeat to Lucas Lautaro Guzman

Jack Woolley of Ireland reacts after defeat to Lucas Lautaro Guzman

Dublin’s Jack Woolley was heartbroken after crashing out of the Olympics in Tokyo today, the 22-year-old taekwondo fighter losing his opening 58kg fight in the dying seconds to Argentina’s Lucas Guzman.

Woolley created history just by being there, Ireland’s first ever representative in Olympic taekwondo, and hopes were high he could contend for a medal, going in as the sixth-ranked fighter.

He trailed through the opening round, which he lost 9-6, but recovered well in the second, landing a series of strikes to edge 13-12 in front ahead of the final round. However, he couldn’t quite hold his opponent at bay and he was overtaken in the dying moments, with Guzman taking victory 22-19.

“I’m very disappointed, everything was good in the lead up, in our prep, I felt physically great going in,” said Woolley.

“I walked in today and something just didn’t click, it just wasn’t my day. It's sport, isn't it? No one expected me to lose that, nobody anticipated my performance to be as poor as it was. Coming from a small country, for some people just qualifying for an Olympics is good enough. Not for me."

The loss didn’t initially spell the end for Woolley, who still could have secured a place in the repechage if Guzman went on to make the final. The Argentine fighter went on to win his quarter-final but was well beaten in his semi-final, losing 29-10 to Italy’s Vito Dellaquila, which brought Woolley’s Olympic experience to an abrupt end.

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