‘Mentally stable’ Cho eager to wow Manchester crowds at World Taekwondo Grand Prix

Mahama Cho may have endured a rollercoaster year on the world taekwondo circuit, but the Manchester-based fighter is adamant he can overturn a drop in form when he competes in front of a raucous home crowd.

The world number six kicked off his year with a silver medal at the US Open in January, but had to wait until the end of the summer for his next podium appearance when he won bronze in Moscow.

And after going on to win silver after losing to Croatia’s Vedran Golec in the final of the Polish Open just two weeks later, Cho is delighted that he has managed to regain his form after fearing he’d never win a medal again.

But sitting eighth currently in the Olympic rankings, with a top-six spot needed by the end of the year to secure a spot at Rio in 2016, Cho knows there is still work to be done.

“Results didn’t come my way when normally they were supposed to, and I went through a phase of questioning and doubting whether I would be able to get back in form again,” he said.

“But as we say in this sport it’s always going to have ups and downs, and we’re coming towards the end of that spell.

“Right now, I’m picking up form again, training well, and I’m mentally stable. I’m hoping I can get in that top six again before the end of the year.

“I’m trying to minimise all the errors, and I’m doing everything I can to get that winning outcome. Every little bit can help me and every little single detail is important to getting to Rio.”

Cho is hoping that his return to form will continue into next week’s Grand Prix in Manchester on October 16-18, as he looks to repeat his 2013 gold medal-winning performance in front of a home crowd

With 40 ranking points on offer at the Grand Prix Cho – who trains at the British Taekwondo Academy in Manchester – knows he cannot afford to take any chances after the ups-and-downs of the last year.

He added: “Every single tournament is different and every single opponent is different every time. We’re keeping our feet on the ground and taking it day by day.

“We’ve got the best facilities and the best psychology here, we’ve got the best coaches in the world here, and you’ve got to utilise those as much as you can to be the best you can be.

“I’ve learnt that results won’t come from time to time, but it’s all about how you carry on working and how you pick yourself back up.

“That’s what it was about for a good six months before these results started coming in. I’ve learnt quite a lot as a person, growing up.

“It’s something that I’ll never forget, it’s something that’s on my mind, any time this occurs again I know what to do straight away.”

The World Taekwondo Grand Prix – featuring the very best Olympic and world champions from across the game – is coming to Manchester on October 16-18. Tickets on sale at

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