Lack of funding will keep Campbell from Rio

JONATHAN MILLMOW IN LONDON
Last updated 15:41 10/08/2012
Logan Campbell
IAIN MCGREGOR/Fairfax NZ
MOVING ON: Hryhorii Husarov beats Logan Campbell (red) at the London Olympics.

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Former brothel owner Logan Campbell is off to buy a house, have kids and hopefully train future Olympians after tumbling out in the first round of the taekwondo competition in London.

The 26-year-old from Auckland appeared to have the measure of his Ukraine opponent Hryhorii Husarov yesterday but he suffered two kicks to the head in the third and final round to lose 10-6 in the under 68kg division.

"What can you do? I went out there, I had trained my hardest, I did absolutely everything right to prepare. It didn't happen for me on the day," the bubbly Campbell said.

Campbell has now been to two Olympics, losing in the first round on both occasions.

At 26, he is young enough to press on for Rio in 2016 but said funding was a constant issue for him.

Campbell set up a "gentlemen's club" after Beijing to fund his bid for London but he sold the 14 room business in 2010 when informed by the New Zealand Olympic Committee that his association with the brothel could damage his selection prospects.

The letter signed by then-NZOC secretary-general Barry Maister said: "Based on the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect, we would place your actions as totally inconsistent with these values."

Campbell now works part-time at his father's second hand furniture business.

"I promised my missus we will buy a house and have kids after this so unless there is any money in it I'll just be doing smaller stuff and otherwise training the future Olympians," Campbell said.

"In a perfect world I'd love to go to Rio. I'm 26 now I've got to start setting up my life for the future.

"It's been pretty difficult, pretty trying times. If you want to get ahead in life, it is hard when you are training six hours a day, it is hard to find time to do anything else."

Campbell was not prepared to discuss his venture into the escort agency business.

"I'll do you an interview if you pay me for it."

New Zealand's other taekwondo athlete in action yesterday, Robin Cheong, also lost. Fighting in the women's under 57kg division, Cheong lost 17-6 to third seed Hedaya Wahba from Egypt.

Technically, Campbell and Cheong could get a second life if their first round opponents go on to make the final.  Campbell quickly knocked that prospect on the head but Cheong has her fingers crossed.

"He (Husarov) is definitely not going to go through against the world champ (Turkey's Servet Tazegul) which sucks because I would've loved to have fought the world champ.

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New Zealand's final fighter, Vaughn Scott, is in action tonight (11.15pm) in the under 80kg division against fourth seed Se Crismanich from Argentina.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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