Aaron Cook (taekwondo athlete)

Aaron Cook (taekwondo athlete)

Aaron Arthur Cook (born January 2, 1991) [http://www.olympics.org.uk/beijing2008/AthleteProfile.aspx?id=6443] is a British taekwondo athlete who qualified for the 2008 Summer Olympics. He is from Dorchester, Dorset. Cook now lives with his family in Manchester who Moved up from Dorset to help support him in his preparations for his Olympic Debut.


Aaron attended Manor Park First School for his first years of education, he then attended St. Osmunds Middle School. However when it comes to the final years and exams they are non existent so he could devote 100% concerntration and effort to achieve Olympic success, However he has said he intends to return to education after his fighting career.

Breakthrough to Seniors

Aaron made his breakthrough into Seniors at the 2007. Dutch Open Championships held in Eindhoven, at the age of just 16. But to top an early senior career start he medals in his debut competition losing to French athlete Torann Mazeroi 12-10 however two stunning headshots at the score of 11-10 were unawarded by the four judges which if were awarded could have landed him in his first senior final on his debut.

However just one week later Cook turned up at the German Open Championships in Bonn to take his maiden senior open title. In the final he defeated fellow team member Davoud Etminani in a real close battle with a finishing score of 12-11. He then went to compete and secured his place on the British team for the 2007 World Taekwondo Championships at closed a door round robin competition held at Loughbrough University. at the 2007 World Taekwondo Championship and on his debut he was drawn against Iceland in the first bout, He won on superiorty over his opponent. In the second round he faced the toughest opponent of his very young career, Hadi Saei of Iran who placed first at both the 2005 World Taekwondo Championships held in Madrid and the 2004 Olympics held in Athens. Aaron gave a good count of himself but could not pass the massively experienced Iranian with a final score of 11-6. Hadi Saei progressed through the tournament to the semi final where he lost on a technicallity to Afghanistans Nesar Ahmad Bahavee.

Later in his debut year, Cook tried to qualify a spot for British team for the 2008 Olympic Games. By competing at the 2007 World Qualification Tournament held at the MEN Arena Manchester. In the first round he was faced against Irelands Sean Joyce, Cook had a comfortable victory never really being pressured by the Irishman finishing the bout within the scheduled time 9-2. The same result occurred against Switzerlands Markus Jiskra a 9-2 scoreline ending the bout in favour of Cook. In the or the last 16 Cook faced a stiffer task against Philipines Briones a stronger opponent physically pushed Cook harder than his previous opponents however Cook still secured a comfortable victory with a final score of 5-2. However in the Quater Finals Cook's dream of qualification in front of a home crowd shattered as he faced Italian Mauro Sarmiento, with scores tied 3-3 going into the final round, Cook looked to draw his tall opponent in but received a kick to the temple knocking him to the mat. This opened up a lead for Mauro Sarmiento which Cook just could close with all his efforts as he simple pushed out of the distance with the long reach and advantage the Italian held. The bout finished 5-3 along with Cooks dreams of qualification in Manchester. Cook would have one more chance of qualification in European Qualification Tournament to be held in Istanbul Turkey in January of 2008

2008 Summer Olympics

In his Olympic debut he got off to a sintalating start defeating Anju Jason representing the Marshall Islands, The Marshallese athlete is the first person in history to qualify for any Olympic Sport from the small islands. The match finished 7-0 in favour of Aaron Cook. The second match was against a higher class of competitor, he was due to fight Carlos Vasquez of Venezuela. Vasquez who is a former World Bronze Medallist from the 2005 World Taekwondo Championships where he also took the favourite and now reigning 4 time World Champion and Two Time Olympic Champion, Steven Lopez of the USA to a decisive 4th round. however this match went in favor of Cook again ending the match at the end of the scheduled 3 rounds with a final score line of 5-2.

In the semi-fianls however Aaron Cook suffered a tall task as he was due to fight 6ft 5in Italian Mauro Sarmiento. The two fought before at the 2007 World Taekwondo Qualification Tournament in the MEN Arena Manchester last September. They fought at the quarter final stage in that tournament where victory was landed with Mauro Sarmiento after a crowd stunning head shot knocked Cook to the mat, the final score was 5-3 with much displeasure to the home crowd. However at the end of the 3 rounds with just 5 secs to go all was level as the scores were locked at 5-5. Then Cook who had never took a match to sudden death round was not about to start has he launched his final assault, throwing two body blows to the trunk protector of Mauro Sarmiento which lead him to believe he had grabbed his chance to go for Gold. However a shot that Cook believed had hit him on the arm was scored to the tall Italian and no points were awarded for his attack leaving a final score of 6-5 in favour of Mauro Sarmiento.

After a defeat in the semi finals this had placed Cook in the Bronze Medal Match of the Repecharge against the home crowds hope Zhu Guo of China. Cook looked to of put behind him the lows of his defeat from the semi final match with a great head shot which once again was unawarded by the referees. Cook looked too Mexican referee Rosa Adam who was standing just 1 metre away to stop the contest for a judge discussion but to no avail. After a series body blows to the chest of Zhu Guo and another head shot going unawarded and couple of minor deductions Cook found himself 2-(-1) behind at the end of two rounds. Aaron finally got on to the score card with an amzing 360 turning kick and another shot to the chest closed the gap to 3-1, however counter attacking Zhu Guo extended his lead as Cook tried to sell another point unawarded by the four corner judges. The contest closed with much displeasure to Cook and the neutral taekwondo fans who attended the USTB Gymnasium [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/olympics/taekwondo/7576969.stm] . Cook was later baffled that a protest was not lodged against the result by his supporting team.

Aaron Speaking After His Defeat Against China:

'I am so gutted. I came so close. I thought the scoring was absolutely horrendous. I don't know what the judges were looking at, they must have been looking in the crowd.'I never tried so much in a match, and it still wasn't enough, and then I didn't know what I had to do. I am miles better than that guy. The crowd didn't affect me, but it must have affected the scoring.'I can't believe the scoring. Words can't explain how absolutely gutted I am to come so close to a medal. I had the right tactics. I'd have been five to six points ahead in any other taekwondo fight.' [http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/olympics/article-1048435/Cook-boils-taekwondo-medal-loss-Chinese.html]

Tournament Results -80KG 2008 Olympics

*PTG — Won by Points Gap
*SUP — Won by Superiority

Main bracket

RD1=Preliminary round
RD4=Gold medal match
RD1-team01=flagIOCathlete|Lionel Baguissi|GAB|2008 Summer
RD1-team02="'flagIOCathlete|Carlos Vásquez|VEN|2008 Summer
RD1-team03="'flagIOCathlete|Aaron Cook|GBR|2008 Summer
RD1-team04=flagIOCathlete|Anju Jason|MHL|2008 Summer
RD1-team05=flagIOCathlete|Bahri Tanrıkulu|TUR|2008 Summer
RD1-team06="'flagIOCathlete|Steven Lopez|USA|2008 Summer
RD1-team07="'flagIOCathlete|Mauro Sarmiento|ITA|2008 Summer
RD1-team08=flagIOCathlete|Sebastien Konan|CIV|2008 Summer
RD1-team09=flagIOCathlete|Abdulqader Hikmat Sarhan|QAT|2008 Summer
RD1-team10="'flagIOCathlete|Rashad Ahmadov|AZE|2008 Summer
RD1-team11="'flagIOCathlete|Sebastien Michaud|CAN|2008 Summer
RD1-team12=flagIOCathlete|Ángel Román|PUR|2008 Summer
RD1-team13=flagIOCathlete|Miguel Ferrera|HON|2008 Summer
RD1-team14="'flagIOCathlete|Zhu Guo|CHN|2008 Summer
RD1-team15=flagIOCathlete|Deepak Bista|NEP|2008 Summer
RD1-team16="'flagIOCathlete|Hadi Saei|IRI|2008 Summer
RD2-team01=flagIOCathlete|Carlos Vásquez|VEN|2008 Summer
RD2-team02="'flagIOCathlete|Aaron Cook|GBR|2008 Summer
RD2-team03=flagIOCathlete|Steven Lopez|USA|2008 Summer
RD2-team04="'flagIOCathlete|Mauro Sarmiento|ITA|2008 Summer
RD2-team05="'flagIOCathlete|Rashad Ahmadov|AZE|2008 Summer
RD2-score05="'0 (SUP)
RD2-team06=flagIOCathlete|Sebastien Michaud|CAN|2008 Summer
RD2-team07=flagIOCathlete|Zhu Guo|CHN|2008 Summer
RD2-team08="'flagIOCathlete|Hadi Saei|IRI|2008 Summer
RD3-team01=flagIOCathlete|Aaron Cook|GBR|2008 Summer
RD3-team02="'flagIOCathlete|Mauro Sarmiento|ITA|2008 Summer
RD3-team03=flagIOCathlete|Rashad Ahmadov|AZE|2008 Summer
RD3-team04="'flagIOCathlete|Hadi Saei|IRI|2008 Summer
RD4-team01=flagIOCathlete|Mauro Sarmiento|ITA|2008 Summer
RD4-team02=flagIOCathlete|Hadi Saei|IRI|2008 Summer


RD1=Round 1
RD2=Bronze medal match
RD1-team1=flagIOCathlete|Zhu Guo|CHN|2008 Summer |RD1-score1=6
RD1-team2=flagIOCathlete|Deepak Bista|NEP|2008 Summer |RD1-score2=2
RD2-team1=flagIOCathlete|Aaron Cook|GBR|2008 Summer |RD2-score1=1
RD2-team2=flagIOCathlete|Zhu Guo|CHN|2008 Summer |RD2-score2=4

RD1=Round 1
RD2=Bronze medal match
RD1-team1=flagIOCathlete|Sebastien Konan|CIV|2008 Summer |RD1-score1=0
RD1-team2=flagIOCathlete|Steven Lopez|USA|2008 Summer |RD1-score2=3
RD2-team1=flagIOCathlete|Steven Lopez|USA|2008 Summer |RD2-score1=3"'
RD2-team2=flagIOCathlete|Rashad Ahmadov|AZE|2008 Summer |RD2-score2=2


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