Jones wants to achieve more
August 10, 2012 17:15 pm
Jade Jones is determined not to be a "one-hit wonder" after realising her dream of becoming Britain's first Olympic taekwondo champion.
The 19-year-old avenged last year's World Championship final defeat by China's Hou Yuzhuo to win the under-57 kilograms category at a raucous ExCeL Centre.
Two years ago Jones was the Youth Olympic champion, and Thursday night's victory capped a meteoric rise for the Welsh teenager, who was still taking in her achievement a day later.
She said: "I'm overwhelmed by it. I only had an hour's sleep. It's been crazy and I think I'm still in a bit of a daze.
"My dream was always to come here and get gold and I would have been disappointed with anything less but I knew how hard it was going to be to win. So to actually have the gold medal around my neck is amazing. It is a dream come true."
Jones was supported by many family and friends but also from afar by the residents of her home town of Flint, North Wales, who clubbed together to raise money so she could go to the qualifying tournament for the Youth Olympics two years ago.
The teenager said: "I haven't really had a chance to see it all yet but the whole of Flint was all watching together and apparently it was bouncing so I can't wait to go back and see everyone and hopefully they're all proud."
Jones has now reached the pinnacle of her sport, but she is confident motivation will not be a problem and she hopes there will be many more good days to come.
The 19-year-old said: "I'm going to have some time out and chill out and get mentally hungry again, and then I've got the World Championships next year in May, so I'll see where that takes me.
"I don't want to be one of those one-hit wonders, I want to be performing at that level all the time. I know how hard it is in my category.
"My coach says the amazing thing about me is I'm doing so well but I've still got so far to go. I still make loads of mistakes and I'm only 19. I can get so much stronger as well, my muscles aren't fully developed yet.
"Hopefully there's so much more to come from me. I'll just keep training hard and keep trying to get better."
Jones took up the sport at the age of eight but did not take it seriously until four years ago after seeing Sarah Stevenson win bronze for Britain at the Beijing Olympics.
There were hopes the under-67kg world champion could match Jones' achievement and win an emotional gold after losing both of her parents to cancer in the last year and also battling back from a serious knee injury.
But it was not to be, with Stevenson going out in the first round.
Jones said: "Sarah's such a big inspiration and she's been through so much. She's an amazing woman, nobody else would still be here today if they'd been through what she'd been through.
"It was her who got me to take up taekwondo, watching her on the telly four years ago and I thought, 'I want to go to the Olympics'.
"The whole team feels for her. It was a big ask with what she's been through. To us she's still a legend and we're proud of her. She's still a big inspiration to us."
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