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Great Britain’s Ben Whittaker looked devastated after narrowly losing out to Arlen Lopez of Cuba in the light heavyweight gold medal match, with the West Midlands native refusing to wear his silver medal on the podium.
Whittaker performed brilliantly throughout the Tokyo Games, defeating Brazil’s Keno Machado in the quarter-final and Imam Khataev of Russia in the semi-final.
While that victory sealed at least a bronze medal for Whittaker, the light heavyweight was desperate to cement his place in Olympic history and win gold for Great Britain.
However, it wasn’t to be for Whittaker who faced the outstanding former Olympic gold medallist Lopez in the final.
While Whittaker fought well and caused a handful of problems for the Cuban, Lopez’s class shone throughout the bout and the Guantanamo native wound out a worthy winner via split decision.
In the moments that followed the bout, despite his phenomenal achievement, Whittaker looked absolutely devastated.
The light heavyweight division’s three other medallists all embraced on the podium and grinned for the cameras, while Whittaker took his silver medal off and pocketed it before walking off.
Do you think Ben Whittaker will turn professional after losing the light heavyweight gold medal match? Let us know in the comments section below.
Whittaker then gave an interview with the BBC and admitted that he was “not going to celebrate silver”.
“I lost a gold, so to me it’s a failure so I am not going to celebrate silver at the moment. I am sure over the years I will look back and see what an achievement it is.
“You don’t win silver…you lose gold. So that is why I was so emotional. Nobody trains for silver or bronze.
“Everybody up here trained for the gold medal. I woke up this morning truly believing this was my time. I had the whole of the West Midlands behind me and Great Britain.
“Congratulations to Arlen. It was his time. He is a great boxer. I just have to go back to the gym, change a few things, work harder and hopefully next time it will be my turn.”
While it is unclear what Whittaker plans to do next, at just 24-years-old the West Bromwich native has plenty of time for another run at Olympic gold before turning professional.
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- Tokyo 2020 Olympics
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