Jade Jones completed an historic defence of her Olympic featherweight taekwondo crown with a comprehensive victory in the final in Rio.
Having landed Team GB’s first Olympic taekwondo gold four years ago, the 23-year old Welsh fighter’s second title saw her become the first Brit to win multiple medals in the event on the Olympic stage.
Jones has gone from strength to strength since London, with European Games gold in 2015 and European Championship gold in May this year sending to the top of the world rankings coming into her second Games.
And while she was fighting Spain’s world number two Eva Calvo Gomez in the final, the Brit was on top throughout, landing two powerful head kicks in both the first and third rounds as she secured a 16-7 win.
“It feels surreal to be honest,” said Jones. “It still doesn’t feel real that I won in London so to have done it again is just crazy.
“I’m so proud of myself because I didn’t realise how much pressure I would feel coming into these Games.
“I started crying before the semi final because I was just so nervous and felt so much pressure. But I pulled it off when it mattered so I’m just so happy.
“I know inside I’m the best but you can still lose so it’s such a scary feeling. You’ve trained for four years of your life, six hours a day, and when it pays off it just feels amazing.”
The pair had contrasting routes to the final, with Calvo scraping through her opening two fights by a single point, before a nervy golden point 1-0 win in her semi-final.
Jones had no such troubles in her three fights, racking up 12 points in her opening bout before a 7-2 defeat of Belgium’s Raheleh Asemani and a 9-4 win against Sweden’s Nikita Gasnovic in a repeat of the European final.
And the Brit looked the more confident of the two in the final, immediately going on the offensive to land two thuddering head kicks for a 6-0 lead in the first round.
The Spanish player found her rhythm in the second round, scoring a three-point kick of her own as she pulled the score back to 7-6 with a round to go.
But Jones stormed clear again in the third, living up to her nickname of ‘Head Hunter’ as she found home with two more kicks to the head to secure gold.