Driven on by the disappointment of Baku, Manchester’s Mahama Cho admits there will be some serious questions asked as he attempts to get back on top form for this year’s Grand Prix series.
Cho went into the first ever European Games in Azerbaijan with high hopes of a medal in the men’s +80kg category.
But while the likes of Jade Jones and Charlie Maddock climbed the top step of the medal rostrum with Lutalo Muhammad also taking bronze, Cho had to deal with an early exit after losing in the preliminary round against Greece’s Konstantinos Goltsios.
It was the second time in quick succession the 25-year-old had tasted disappointment too having also been beaten in the round of 32 in May’s World Championships.
But while acknowledging things are not going to plan currently, Cho insists he will not shirk away from the hard work ahead of the World Grand Prix series starting in Moscow in August.
“With the Grand Prix it’s the champions, only the champions will be selected, so it will be as tough as ever,” he said.
“Things haven’t got as well as I would have hoped in Baku and I just need to readjust and think about what I need to do differently.
“We are half way through the season. Anything that needs adding to my game needs to happen now before the Grand Prix season starts.
“It shows with the previous performances that it’s a pattern of what’s been going on in the last few months and we need to address that.
“The grand prix series is becoming one of my favourite tournaments around, so I am really hoping again to perform my best and hopefully be in the top eight by end of December, qualify for Mexico Grand Prix final.”
This year’s Grand Prix series sees competitions in Russia, Turkey and England before the finale in Mexico in December.
The home leg takes place in Manchester from October 16-18 and Cho, who won the inaugural Grand Prix there in 2013, admits he can’t wait to get back in front of his home fans.
“I can’t wait to perform in front of a home crowd and it’s one of my favourite crowds to be around – it’s where I won my World Grand Prix title,” he added.
“It’s always great to be competing in front of friends and family and relatives, so for it to be held here again is amazing – bring on October!
“With the Olympics a year away, I want to start to stamp my mark.”
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 now on sale at www.ticketmaster.co.uk/wtgp