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British boxer Ben Whittaker admits he feels like a ‘failure’ after winning silver medal

Ben Whittaker silver medal

British boxer Ben Whittaker has expressed his massive disappointment after losing his men’s Olympic light-heavyweight final bout.

Whittaker has claimed a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics after falling short against Arlen Lopez of Cuba in the men’s light-heavyweight final, but the 24-year-old has taken no solace in his second place finish.

The British light-heavyweight was speaking to the BBC after his final loss to Lopez and admitted he felt like a “failure” after missing out on the gold medal.

‘I’m very disappointed. I feel like a failure.’

“You don’t win silver, you lose gold. I’m very disappointed with myself, I didn’t perform good,” Whittaker said.

“Of course [Lopez] is a class operator, two-time Olympic gold medallist now. But I’m very disappointed. I feel like a failure.

“He’s very good but you’re in this game to win gold, not win silver so I’m very upset. But this feeling will stick with me now and I don’t want to feel like this again.”

While most athletes are pleased with winning a silver medal at the Olympics, Whittaker admitted that he reckons he will never see his second place finish as anything other than a disappointment.

“Truthfully, no. Probably in a couple of years I’ll look back on it with my kids or whatnot and say, ‘Your dad lost a gold medal.’ But that’s all it is now,” Whittaker explained.

“I’m going to try to push this to the back of my mind because I didn’t achieve what I wanted to achieve. I just want to thank God for putting me in this position. I want to thank everyone in Great Britain for getting behind me.

“I’m sorry for making you wake up and seeing me let you down but I’ll come back, trust me.”

Ben Whittaker decides not to wear his silver medal on the podium.

Whittaker chose not to wear his silver medal on the podium, and was visibly distraught while the Cuban national anthem played.

His opponent Arlen Lopez is one of the most highly-decorated amateur boxers in the world, having won the gold medal in the middleweight division at the 2016 Olympics, as well as gold medals in the World Championships and Pan American games.

Lopes was awarded the victory over Whittaker by split decision, with one of the judges ruling in favour of the British boxer, while four judges opted for the Cuban.

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