Manchester’s Mahama Cho hasn’t had things all his own way this season but he is ready to put any disappointment behind him as he heads into next week’s World Taekwondo Championships.
Cho has been selected as Great Britain’s male representative in the +87kg category for the upcoming World Championships in Chelyabinsk, Russia, which start on May 12.
The 25-year-old has had an up and down season to date, claiming an impressive silver medal at the US Open but missing out on the podium in Luxor and the Netherlands.
However, he insists he has been building to this main event in Russia and is ready to make serious waves against the world’s best.
“To be honest I’m quite excited, I’m counting down now and it’s not long to go,” said Cho. “We are just getting the final touches into my game plan now, so we’ll see how it goes. 2015 has been a bit of a rollercoaster, but the season’s not finished yet.
“I started the season well at the US Open, got a medal there, couple of tournaments in Luxor and Holland, didn’t medal at those but at the same time was working on some different things – now at the moment I’m feeling in the best shape going towards the World Champs.
“I don’t like speculating but my main focus is to go out there and do my best.
“Obviously I’m going to be challenging to get in the medal stages, it is something I’ve been waiting a long time to do and hopefully I should be able to do the job out in Russia.”
Ivory Coast-born Cho first moved to the UK aged eight to live with his father Zakaia, a former African taekwondo champion.
After missing out on selection for the London 2012 Olympics he went to study at university in Paris, competing in a number of taekwondo events under the French banner, before returning to the GB Academy in the summer of 2013.
And as he looks to secure a maiden World Championship medal, Cho believes that thanks to a number of different training regimes, his taekwondo has developed beyond all recognition since his return.
“Since coming back there’s been different cultures, I’ve been learning different things with different people,” he added.
“I believe for the Worlds you have to be fighting the best players, and the Cubans are going to be the ones to beat.
“So for us to go out to Cuba and do a ten-day training camp was a really tough one but we did well so now it’s just the final stretch really.
“Mixing with them and training with them has boosted my confidence in general, so I’m looking forward to Worlds.”
The World Taekwondo Grand Prix – featuring the very best Olympic and World Champions from across the globe – is coming to Manchester on 16-18 October. Experience the excitement, drama and electrifying atmosphere of this explosive Olympic sport with tickets on sale 19 May at www.ticketmaster.co.uk/wtgp