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Jade Jones Gets A Slice Of Revenge At World Grand Prix In Paris

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By Hannah Blackwell

Jade Jones produced a stunning performance to beat former world champion Luo Zongshi in Paris to claim her second World Taekwondo Grand Prix final success of the year.

Wales’ revitalised double Olympic gold medallist defeated her Chinese opponent 2-0 in the final of the –57kg division, gaining a measure of revenge for last year’s world championship semi-final defeat.

Team mate Aaliyah Powell took bronze in the same weight category while Rebecca McGowan (+67kg) and Caden Cunningham (+80kg) left the French capital with silver medals.

Jones, 30, from Flint, has now won her last three tournaments and dominated Zongshi to win the opening two rounds with 17-9 points aggregate.

Zonghsi, 24, defeated Yorkshire star Powell 2-0 in the penultimate round while Jones got past Turkey’s Hatice Ilgun 2-1.

Cunningham, also from Huddersfield, is another Manchester trained athlete enjoying a superb run of results in 2023.

Like Jones, the 20-year-old triumphed in the Rome Grand Prix earlier this year. This time he reached another final but lost to a rival, no stranger to British taekwondo fans.

Barring Cunningham’s path to gold was Ivory Coast’s Cheick Sallah Cisse who denied former GB favourite, Lutalo Muhammad in the 2016 Olympic final.

Cisse, the reigning world champion, used his vast experience to good effect but while Cunningham lost both opening rounds, only three points separated them at the finish.

McGowan from Dumbarton has been another consistent performer on the world stage this season.

And it proved an unwanted case of déjà vu as McGowan’s bid for gold ended in a 2-1 defeat to Althea Laurin.

The Brit started a re-match of their 2023 world final clash by taking a 12-7 lead over her French opponent. However, Laurin took the last two rounds by a 26-10 margin to take gold.

The 2023 World Taekwondo Grand Prix Finalwill be held in Manchester from the December 1-3, 2023.

This event will be the final taekwondo qualification for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

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