Aaron Cook left “numb” over Olympic omission
AARON Cook has revealed his dismay over his non-selection for the Olympics, a decision which he states has left him “numb”.
Cook, the world number one in the under-80kg division has missed out at the expense of Lutalo Muhammed, who has stepped down from the under-87kg class – a division in which he won a European title this year.
Cook has called a press conference for later on today and he is expected to reveal whether or not he plans to make further legal moves, having seen an appeal to the British Olympic Association fail.
The 21-year-old resigned from the Great Britain World-Class Performance Programme last year to pursue his own training regime and he believes that has gone against him.
“It is hard to put into words,” Cook said. “I just feel numb. The last five weeks have just been a nightmare.
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“My results are vastly superior to Lutalo’s. The quality of players I have faced is far higher and I have won nine of my last 12 tournaments.
“I have recently defeated 10 of the top 15 qualified 2012 Olympians and world medallists including five-time world champion and two-time Olympic champion Steven Lopez and the current under-87kg world champion Yousef Karami and the under-80kg world champion Farzad Abdollahi.
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“According to my coach, Patrice Remarck, GB Taekwondo also questioned my ability to perform under pressure and how I might perform in front of a home crowd.
“I find this a strange point as I have a proven track record of success under pressure at home as well as abroad, including seven British Open wins, an Olympic test event win and the European Championship.
“Why have I not been selected? Simple. Because I left the British Taekwondo system last year.”