Jones gunning for gold

09 August 2012 / 18:01

British taekwondo fighter Jade Jones will go for Olympic gold on Thursday night after stunning world number one Tseng Li-Cheng of Chinese Taipei 10-6 in their women's under-57kg featherweights semi-final at ExCeL.

Jones, 19, produced a late rally to land her trademark headkick which capped a quite remarkable Olympic debut. South Arena 1 was in full voice as the 19-year-old from Flintshire walked out to a sea of Union Flags as 'London Calling' blasted over the airwaves.

The Wales teenager, world silver medallist in 2011, had opened her Olympic debut with an impressive 15-1 victory over Serbian Dragana Gladovi and dispatched Japan's Mayu Hamada 13-3 in the last eight for a shot at the final.

Tseng, however, represented a step up in class. The world number one scored an early point with a shot to the body and picked off the Briton again to lead 2-0 after the first round.

To her credit, Jones - Youth Olympic champion two years ago - upped the tempo after the restart, and reduced the deficit with a sidekick. A penalty saw Jones drop 3-2 behind and she then had an appeal for a head shot tuned down by video review.

Spurred on by the home support, Jones then went 5-3 ahead, with the Chinese Taipei fighter then having an appeal for a head kick rejected. That forced Tseng to attack, which played right into Jones' tactics as she this time connected to the head and pulled off a shock victory as the British crowd erupted.

Liverpool's Martin Stamper had also progressed to the semi-finals of the men's under-68kgs, where he was up Turkish top seed Servet Tazegul, the 2011 world champion and European champion, a bronze medallist from Beijing.

Stamper, a bronze medallist at the 2012 European Championships in Manchester, had earlier edged past Erick Osornio Nunez of Mexico and come from behind to knock out 18-year-old Serbian Damir Fejzic.

Tazegul, though, showed his experience to land an early axe kick to the head, taking control of the contest 5-0 at the end of the first round. Stamper came out quickly, scoring a body shot and then almost connecting with a turning kick to the head, which would have wiped out the lead, which stood at 6-2 going into the final two minutes.

The Team GB fighter landed a two-point turning kick to the body, with Turkey's appeal for a head shot rejected on review, which set up a tense last 90 seconds. It was 9-6 when both men traded blows, and despite Stamper's best efforts to land a big score with a succession of spinning kicks, it was not to be and he will later fight for bronze.