Wales

Jade Jones: Taekwondo gold medal joy for Olympian

  • 10 August 2012
  • From the section Wales

Messages of congratulation have poured in for Flintshire's gold medal winning teenage taekwondo fighter Jade Jones after her Olympic victory.

Royal Mail has printed a stamp and will paint a post box gold in Flint after the 19-year-old claimed victory on Thursday in the 57kg category.

She becomes the youngest member of Team GB to take gold at London 2012.

Post box painted gold in Flint
A post box was painted gold in Flint on Friday morning in Jade Jones' honour

Hundreds of supporters gathered in her home town's social club where there were scenes of jubilation as she won.

Her father Gary Jones said: "I am so happy. I was so scared and so nervous."

She described her win as "bonkers" and joins Wrexham rower Tom James and Cardiff cyclist Geraint Thomas who also won gold during London 2012.

Mr Jones, who was hoarse from screaming support from the crowded London Excel arena, said: "I was in shock - I'm still in shock.

"I am so drained watching what she has achieved. I can't imagine how she must be feeling.

"You know what? I can't wait to see the post box in Flint painted gold for my daughter - it's crackers."

Jones, whose grandfather Martin Foulkes encouraged her to start the sport aged eight, was given rapturous applause at the arena.

Her supporters crammed into Flint Sports and Social Club, where her fights were shown on a big screen.

Her uncle Jeffrey Jones, 42, said: "She's got the gold. Absolutely fantastic. We've had a lovely day and we're very, very proud of her."

Tributes came in from a range of fans including former world heavyweight boxing champion Lennox Lewis who tweeted: "Big up to @jadejonestkd on her Olympic gold medal in Taekwondo. U made ur dream come true."

Jade Jones
Golden girl: Jade Jones with her gold medal

TV presenter Lorraine Kelly tweeted: "Well done jade jones - bloody brilliant".

And news reader Jon Snow added: "Utterly magic Jade Jones (19) Gold in Taekwondo: Grandad Martin drove her 3hr round trip Wales/Manchester 4x's aweek training: locally funded."

First Minister Carwyn Jones said: "Jade is Wales' first female athlete to win gold at London 2012 and the first to win an individual gold, she should be very proud of her achievement.

"She showed some real grit and determination to win and will be an inspiration to our future Olympians."

Jade Jones stamp
Royal Mail has printed a stamp in honour of Jade Jones's gold medal

Lyn Leigh, manager of Flint Sports and Social Club, said over 1,000 people - many have supported over the years, including helping her to raise money to pursue her dream before she secured sports funding - watched her fight.

"It was an amazing day for everyone in Flint," she said.

Delyn Assembly Member Sandy Mewies said: "The support for Jade in Flint has been tremendous and people can't wait to welcome her back home victorious and to see that gold medal."

Praise came from Jones's former Flint High School head teacher, Pam McClean, who was at the arena.

"Jade is an inspiration to all the youngsters in Flint and throughout Flintshire."

Special Olympics sausages are being sold at the butcher's shop on Flint high street where her mother, Jayne, works.

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