Lutalo Muhammad looked set to emulate his GB teammate Jade Jones to win gold in the taekwondo - but alas it was not to be.
A last-second swing-kick from his Ivory Coast opponent Cheick Sallah Cisse in the -80kg bout saw victory snatched away 8-6 as the buzzer sounded.
Muhammad, who won bronze at London 2012 was left standing stunned as Cisse celebrated the win.
Muhammad had set the pace in a dramatic and keenly contested final, scoring with a three-point head kick in the first and edging back ahead early in the last after the Ivorian responded with a three-pointer of his own.
The Briton led 6-4 going into the final moments when Cisse clawed back a single point then struck for the most incredible of finishes as the clock ticked down to zero.
In a heartbreaking interview with the BBC, the 25-year-old Londoner could not contain his anguish at the result.
He said: “I was just half a second away from becoming Olympic champion and accomplishing my dream.
“I’m sorry I don’t want to cry on TV but I’m so distraught.
“I’m so sorry for the people that stayed up late to watch and cheer me on. I let them down at the last second.
“I’m so sorry this is so hard.”
When reminded that 2016 has seen Team GB’s best Olympics results in the taekwondo, Muhammad said: “It was incredible but I was so close to the Olympic champion.
“I know I’ve got to hold it to together but the emotion is so raw. It’s hard to put it into words how disappointed I am.”
Although he did add: “I’m proud to have contributed ot GB’s record-breaking tally.”
But while Muhammad repeatedly apologised for losing the gold medal match, Brits, including Olympic rower Helen Glover, MP Stella Creasy and BBC presenter Dan Walker, were having absolutely none of it and tweeted their support...
Muhammad’s silver adds to the gold won by Jade Jones in taekwondo.
The 23-year-old beat Spain’s Eva Calvo Gomez in the final of the -57kg category in Rio, defending the title she won in the London 2012 games.
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