Jones back in action for first time since Olympic gold
February 5, 2013 14:44 pm
Olympic taekwondo champion Jade Jones will make her competitive return to action this weekend for the first time since scooping gold at London 2012.
Jones, 19, is part of a 12-strong British squad that will take to the mats in Sweden for the Trelleborg Open.
And after an action-packed six months since the Welsh star shot to fame at the Olympics, Jones admits she is itching to get back to business and do what she does best.
“I don't really know what to expect this weekend but I am looking forward to it,” said Jones, who fights in the -57kg category.
“I have heard there should be a few good girls in my weight so it will be a good test to see where I am up to.
“We recently came back from a hard training camp in Korea which was a shock to the system.
“It felt weird sparring again but it was a useful exercise as I don't have many sparring partners at my weight in Britain.
“I have said before I struggled for motivation after what happened at the Olympics.
“But it's coming back now and I'll definitely be on point for the World Championships later in the year.
“I still love taekwondo and I have never thought about doing anything else."
The Manchester based, Welsh teenager was expected to be joined in Scandinavia by her fellow Olympic medallist, Lutalo Muhammad.
However, Muhammad, who claimed bronze in London, is now targeting next month's German Open in Hamburg where he is likely to step-up from -80kg to -87kg.
Definitely, going to Sweden is Liverpudlian Bianca Walkden. The former world number two has won her last three competitions, including the prestigious French Open before Christmas, and is keen to make it four in a row.
“I beat a couple of world-class girls in the semi-finals and final in Paris," explained Walkden, 21. “So, that's given me a lot of confidence to go and win a fourth gold medal.
“But it gets harder, not easier, so if I don't do the work in training I can't expect to keep winning.”
© Sportsbeat 2013