History-making Obame rues inexperience
8/12/2012 1:40:00 AM -
LONDON (AFP) - Anthony Obame made history by winning Gabon's first ever Olympic medal but then bemoaned his lack of experience in failing to secure gold.
Obame led the men's over-80kg taekwondo final by 9-6 with less than 30 seconds left when he was caught with a three-point head kick by Italy's Carlo Molfetta.
The fight finished level and after a scoreless sudden death period of golden point, Molfetta won a judges decision to leave Obame with the silver medal.
And although he made history, Obame felt he should have had the gold.
"I'm relieved because not all competitors got a medal and I really wanted to come back (to Gabon) with a medal but not any medal, a gold medal," he said.
"But I couldn't manage that against a very experienced Italian.
"He had me on a youthful error but I hope to come back stronger next time."
Obame was most frustrated at failing to hold onto his lead late in the third and final round.
"It was at this very moment that he seized his opportunities because I was already imagining myself as a gold medallist.
"I think I was dreaming because I was leading and I got caught. It's true I didn't lose on points but on a judges decision. That cost me dearly.
"If I'd have kept the scoring and tempo from the beginning it would have been me the Olympic champion."
Even so, the 23-year-old said he was eager to go home and see what reception he gets.
"I realise what I've done, I admit it. But to be honest it hasn't sunk in yet because I'm not in my country and I'm surrounded by athletes and people congratulating me.
"It's often like that but maybe not with the same energy. It's often been like that but we'll see when I get back."