Mahama Cho bids to become the first male Great Britian Taekwondo athlete to hit the jackpot at the latest World Taekwondo Grand Slam Champions event in Wuxi, China tomorrow.
Heavyweight Bianca Walkden set the bar by winning the title and £52,000 ($71,000/€59,000) at the inaugural tournament in Wuxi last month.
Welsh star Lauren Williams reached the quarter-finals of her Grand Slam competition last weekend.
Now it’s Cho’s turn to boost his bank balance in the World Championship silver medallist’s first outing of 2018.
The London-raised heavyweight was voted GB Taekwondo’s athlete of the year for 2017 because of his consistently high standard of results.
And he’s keen to not only replicate his performances but take them to a new level.
“Bianca had a fantastic year so massive congratulations to her,” said Cho who hasn’t fought since the World Taekwondo Grand Prix finals in the Ivory Coast a month ago.
“When a team mate does so well it motivates others to do the same so let’s get the ball rolling.
“I aim to focus on doing the same things but push myself a little bit more to get the results needed.
“Top six in the world isn’t bad but I am going to try and get in the top three.
"And why not aim for number one as well? That would be fantastic.”
Cho is the first GB male fighter to compete in the exciting new event boasting the sport’s richest ever prizes.
In addition to the jackpot, silver medallists receive £15,000 ($21,000/ €17,000) and bronze medallists, £3,700 ($5,100/€4,200).
“I am feeling good but it hasn’t been easy because a lot of the players have been away over Christmas and the New Year,” added Cho.
“So, I had to be extra motivated to get in the best of shape for this tournament.”
Cho will be joined in China by comeback star Charlie Maddock.
The 22-year-old from Stoke-on-Trent fought sparingly in 2017 but Great Britain’s inaugural female European Games gold medallist is keen to make up for lost time in 2018.
Reigning European champion Williams reached the quarter-finals in Wuxi last weekend.
The Gwent-born ace enjoyed an opening 32-29 win over host nation favourite and Asian Games champion, Pan Gao.
However, in a bid to make the semi-finals Williams lost 11-10 to Gao’s compatriot Yunfei Guo.