Benjamin Whittaker admitted he felt like he was “letting everyone down” with a silver medal in Tokyo at the Olympics and apologized for putting it right in his pocket.
Whittaker was beaten by Cuban Arlen Lopez in the light heavyweight gold medal fight and was left in tears following the split decision loss.
Team GB collected a record six Games medals this summer, with two more potentially on the way when Galal Yafai makes the flyweight semifinals on Thursday ahead of Lauren Price’s middleweight semifinal fight on Friday.
However, you’re unlikely to find a more inconsolable loser than Whittaker, who seemed destined for gold.
An entertaining fighter in and out of the ring, the 24-year-old drew attention when he said he wanted to become mayor of his hometown of Wolverhampton.
Breathing confidence by continuously dancing in the ring, it is unlikely that it will be too long before the flash fighter enters the pro ranks. Even Anthony Joshua claimed the youngster was “much better” than he was at the same age.
And the heavyweight world champion tweeted his pride in watching British boxers in the ring.
Yet despite AJ’s seal of approval and the nation’s admiration, Whittaker couldn’t see the thrill of finishing second and echoed his position in a tweet in 2020. “If you’re happy with it. ‘a bronze or a silver medal, you are not. worthy of the summit, ”he wrote.
And instead of wearing the silver medal awarded around his neck in Tokyo, the Briton pocketed it and was warned by the coaches in the stands to use the moment because “you will never get this moment back”.
Whittaker, however, explained that he felt like he was letting his country down.
“I think he’s the competitor in me,” he told talkSPORT Breakfast.
“[In the final], I was very upset and drained, and felt like it was neither an achievement nor a disappointment.
“But I had time to think it over and what an achievement; First of all, I made history and added medals to the total for Great Britain and there isn’t much more I can do for that.
“At the time, I was disappointed in myself and felt like I was letting everyone down. “
He then took to Twitter to reveal his change in mood and posted a photo of him holding his medal.
“I had time to reflect and I am grateful for everyone’s support, I am sorry that I did not wear my medal with pride.
“I’m just human and I was showing my emotion but in the wrong way. Looking back, I’m sorry, what an achievement and I’m grateful.
“OLYMPIC SILVER MEDAL. Thank you.”
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