Aucklander Vaughn Scott has become the third New Zealand taekwondo fighter to lose in the first round at the London Olympic Games.
The 22-year-old Cape Town-born fighter, who took up the sport at 14, lost to Argentina's Pan American Games champion Sebastian Crismanich, 9-5 in the men's 80kg class.
Scott will be eliminated from repechage contention if Crismanich loses his second round match.
Scott - ranked 18th in the world - went out aggressively from the start of the first round, taking an early tumble in his eagerness to score.
He matched Crismanich, the seventh-seed, point for point with offensive kicks until the Argentine accrued a 5-2 advantage and added another to lead 6-2 at the end of the first round.
The Kiwi made another assertive opening in the second round, scoring a flurry of three points - two with an offensive kick and one from a penalty awarded against his rival - to crib back Crismanich's lead to 6-5.
But the South American scored twice more to end the round, 8-5 ahead.
Crismanich, 25, scored the only point of a disappointing final round.
Scott said his mentality was to "go hard out'' in the first two rounds "to see if I could get any points up''.
"I just give it my opponent and, if he doesn't like it, too bad. .. but it's kind of a hard fight when someone comes back to you with all those flying kicks as well.''
But he thought his bout went "really well''.
"I have no regrets when I go out there.
"It's just unlucky I didn't come out on top against an experienced fighter.''
Scott rated his first Olympics a "10 out of 10'' experience and said he was aiming for Rio in 2016.
"I'll train really hard for the next four years and try and fit in my [personal trainer] studies as well.''
Born in Cape Town, he came to New Zealand at the age of eight and took up taekwondo at 14 because his mother, a third-dan karate black belt, thought martial arts would keep him out of trouble.
Scott turned down a contract with the New Zealand Warriors rugby league club to specialise in taekwondo but he said tonight he had no regrets about his sporting choice.
New Zealand's other taekwondo Olympians, Logan Campbell (mens' 68kg) and Robin Cheong (women's 57kg ) were also eliminated in the first round.
- © Fairfax NZ News