Taekwondo: Jade Jones shows way of the foot and fist for gold at London 2012

Welsh teenager wins Britain's first ever gold in martial art event

ExCel Arena

The cheers for Nicola Adams' historic boxing victory had barely died away before across the corridor at the ExCel Arena another of Britain's feisty females was punching – and kicking – her way on to the Olympic podium as yet another British golden girl.

Jade Jones, a 19-year-old from Flint in North Wales, became the first Briton to win Olympic gold at taekwondo, the martial art they call "the way of the foot and the fist", using both with fiendish dexterity to defeat the Chinese world champion Yuzhuo Hou, the in the under-57kgs featherweight final.

The protege of Sarah Stevenson, winner of a pioneering bronze in Beijing, she ripped off her headguard, flung it in the air and ran a victory lap of honour after clinching a 6-4 points win over one of the sport's most fearsome exponents.

Jones said: "It's amazing. The crowd has just been amazing. Before I came out I was thinking that she took my world championship final. That killed me for ages.

"So I wasn't going to let her beat me here in front of a home crowd. To be the first British athlete to win an Olympic gold [in taekwondo] is just amazing."

After a scoreless first of the three minute rounds, Jones moved ahead, inflicting darting body and head shots but in the end profiting from the two penalty points that a rattled Hou had conceded.

Jade Jones may sound sound like an X-Factor wannabe but she is actually a diminutive pocket rocket who punches harder than most female boxers and kicks like a mule, attributes which have brought world championship junior and senior silver medals, a bronze in the European seniors and Britain's first gold in any sport in the Youth Olympics in Singapore. And now Olympic gold.

"What Jade has done this is just phenomenal," said Gary Hall, the GB national performance director. "She is one of these characters who is never satisfied and always wants more – she is absolutely driven to be the best."

Known as The Headhunter because of her high kicking in that direction, Jones started in taekwondo when she was eight, her grandfather taking her to a local gymnasium to "toughen me up and keep me off the streets".

"There wasn't a lot to do in my town and he wanted me to be able to defend myself," she said. "I started getting into a bit of trouble and was messing around. It was nothing too serious. I was just mischievous."

Taekwondo is one of the great success stories of British sport but has recently been immersed in controversy over the omission of world No 1 Aaron Cook from the men's squad. Last night Cook sat in the £20 seats cheering on his former team-mate.

Martin Stamper also had the chance to make this the biggest night in British taekwondo history when he reached the semi-finals of the under-68kg division but despite a battling effort was knocked out 9-6 by Turkish top seed Servet Tazegul.

The 25-year[-old Liverpudlian still had hopes of a bronze in the repechage but lost 5-3 in a tense encounter to Afghanistan's Rohullah Nikpai.

 

Get Adobe Flash player

 



News
people
News
people And here is why...
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
News
i100
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
people
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsWelsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Scott Thomas in Electra at the Old Vic
theatreReview: Kristin Scott Thomas is magnificent in a five-star performance of ‘Electra’
News
Destructive discourse: Jewish boys look at anti-Semitic graffiti sprayed on to the walls of the synagogue in March 2006, near Tel Aviv
peopleAt the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Life and Style
Couples who boast about their relationship have been condemned as the most annoying Facebook users
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Time to stop running: At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity

Time to stop running

At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence