Jade Jones Joins Radmilovic, Meade And Thomas In Golden Welsh Group

Jade Jones has become the first Welsh woman to defend an Olympic title after being crowned taekwondo champion again in Rio.

Jones, from Flint, repeated her London 2012 triumph – when she was only 19 – by winning the 57kg title on Thursday night.

In doing so, she joins an elite group of Welsh sporting heroes who have won gold at more than one Olympics – alongside swimmer and water polo player Paulo Radmilovic, equestrian Richard Meade, and cyclist Geraint Thomas.

Jones secured Great Britain’s 22nd Olympic Games gold in Rio by beating Spain’s Eva Calvo Gomez 16-7 in the final after cruising through the rounds with a series of commanding displays.

It was a record-breaking 10th medal for a Welsh competitor at the Rio Games and came just hours after Hannah Mills won gold in the sailing.

“It feels unbelievable, I can’t really explain it,” Jones said.

“I didn’t realise how much pressure I would feel coming into this – even in the first few matches I just felt so pressured – so to pull it off… my coach is a psycho and it’s all down to him. The Great British team train so hard.

“I’m still young. I’m only 23 and I’m a double Olympic champion already so it’s crazy.

“Before the competition I’ve been crying in the sessions and you just can’t see it happening because you’re so stressed and training all the time.

“But I did it when it mattered and I’m buzzing.”

Her coach Paul Green paid tribute to his charge, saying: ‘ She is better tactically than four years ago, when you call a shot she understands better when to do it,’ said her coach Paul Green.

‘She is a lot faster as well and she usually rises to the pressure of the big events, she is known for that.

‘Going into London she wasn’t expected to win but here she has been the red hot favourite, so it’s a different pressure. She has been the most consistent player in British Taekwondo.’

Jones beat Morocco’s Naima Bakkal in her first bout and secured a place in the semi-finals with a 7-2 win over Belgium’s Raheleh Asemani.

She had a tougher clash with Sweden’s Nikita Glasnovic in the last-four but came out on top 9-4 thanks to a superb head kick, with Calvo Gomez beating Egypt’s Hedaya Wahba on a golden point to secure her place in the final.

Jones connected with a pair of head shots in the opening round to lead 6-0 but Calvo Gomez rallied in the second with a head shot of her own, cutting the deficit to 7-6 with two minutes remaining.

But she was ragged in the final round, consistently leaving herself open to attack, with Jones taking full advantage on a couple more head shots before victory was confirmed.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *