Olympic champion Jones wins taekwondo gold for Britain
BAKU – Olympic champion Jade Jones won gold for Britain in the women’s -57kg taekwondo on Wednesday to make it two British victories in the sport at the inaugural European Games.
After team mate Charlie Maddock had claimed gold in the -49kg event on Tuesday, Jones defeated Croatia’s Ana Zaninovic 12-9 in the final to claim Britain’s third gold and fifth medal in total.
Jones, 22, led 5-0 after a dominant opening period, 8-6 after the second and held her nerve to triumph by three points after a tense final two minutes.
Jones became the first ever British athlete to win Olympic gold in taekwondo in 2012 and was also the winner of the inaugural Youth Olympics in Singapore in 2010.
“I’m just buzzing to be honest,” Jones told reporters. “I got the Youth Olympic Games, the senior Olympic Games so to get the European Games as well and have all three at such a young age is amazing.
“I want to become a legend of my sport so I’m not done yet.”
Jones said Maddock’s success on Tuesday had provided her with extra motivation to emulate her team mate and top the podium in the Azeri capital.
“Charlie did amazing,” Jones added. “She’s only been doing taekwondo a year. It gives me confidence in our programme. I’ve been doing the same training as her, we’re all a team and doing the same thing so it gives you confidence.”
En route to the gold medal, the second seed was nearly beaten by Hungary’s Edina Kotsis in the quarter-final, trailing 2-1 late on before landing a kick to the face of her opponent with just 23 seconds of the final period remaining and progressing 5-2.
In her semi-final, Jones was 7-1 up and cruising against Sweden’s Nikita Glasnovic, but had to withstand a late fightback, eventually prevailing 7-6.
She beat Cypriot Despina Pilavaki 9-1 in the opening round at the Crystal Hall.
The European Games runs until June 28. – REUTERS