Jade Jones inspired to taekwondo gold by British success

Jade Jones says the success of Team GB athletes in London helped inspire her to become British taekwondo's first Olympic gold medallist.

The 19-year-old won a dramatic final against world champion Yuzhuo Hou.

"Great Britain has done amazingly and it made me think, 'I want that and I want to be a part of it,'" Jones said after her 6-4 win over China's Yuzhuo.

"To be the first ever one from GB Taekwondo just adds the cherry on the cake," she told BBC Sport.

The fighter, from Flint in north Wales, hopes a capacity crowd at the ExCel Arena and the large TV audience will work as a catalyst to promote interest in her sport in the UK.

"Taekwondo is such a low-key sport, so hopefully this will boost its profile a little bit," said Jones. "The support I had today was just amazing, it's a bit crazy really!"

Jones's coach, Paul Green, who has worked with her since she joined the GB academy in 2009, paid tribute to her "incredible" work ethic.

"I'm so proud of her," said Green. "The effort that she has put in over the last six months has been incredible, she's like a man in the female division, she just fights and works so hard."

He added: "There are still things she can improve on, but that's the exciting thing - the future is so bright for her."

Jade Jones tells BBC Wales she still can't believe her victory

Team-mate Martin Stamper did not quite enjoy the same success. After impressing against Osornio Nunez and Damir Fejzic, the 25-year-old from Liverpool came unstuck against world and European Champion Servet Tazegul in the semi-finals.

He then lost the bronze medal match 5-3 against Afghanistan's Rohullah Nikpai, who four years ago became his country's first-ever Olympic medallist.

"I made one mistake and it cost me again," said Stamper.

"I now need to spend a bit of time with my family and then come back and focus on next year's World Championships, before I start thinking about Rio [2016]."

Friday will see the long-awaited return of British world champion Sarah Stevenson .

Since claiming an emotional gold in South Korea last summer, Stevenson has had to overcome the loss of both of her parents and return from a cruciate knee ligament injury sustained in training earlier this year.

Analysis

"Jade Jones was in control the whole way through. Fantastic strategy, fantastic performance and fantastic result. Well done to Paul Green the coach and everyone at GB Taekwondo. In this sport, which is an Asian sport, an Asian martial art, a teenage athlete from Great Britain has just beaten two Asian champions back-to-back to win Olympic gold. I don't think Olympic stories come much better than this one."

"Compared to what I've been through over the last year, the injury was nothing," reflected Stevenson. "2011 was horrendous, but I actually use that now to put things into perspective and I can't really moan about other things in life.

"Success would mean everything to me, but so long as I do my best on the day and have no regrets then I don't think I can lose no matter what."

Lutalo Muhammad, who was controversially selected ahead of world number one Aaron Cook in the -80kg division, will also be in action.

Muahmmad was the subject of hate-mail following his nomination for Team GB, but he insists it has not been a distraction and that he feels no extra pressure after being selected ahead of Cook.

"I haven't found it difficult to cope," Muhammad told BBC Sport.

"Joining the GB Academy [in late 2011] has been the best decision of my life and I'm very confident because my preparation has been fantastic. I'm confident I can deliver the results."

]8WXc> Vێ*uUkcbg34LPHӱ%cڒrqXE9 ő`2P#k角v Y`N j'!in@*5HwT *xpZiޫ[FF(9O}mv (۠@)iS{24}z}Vk4SK9LUΩPy S;WvL+Q7zk3i QGdo87m]mgЙ{6 Zm)*kgM QfL|By<7J ÜWx.8hfEGVEI)j_mΦm],lY- gRbQ ]3?c|eLLnVzK,ha F!ժ(I^B/O7B9*A8h-)g9{wmvͭl gPr4$]\[{f@mzSO 1h>vgzXjC'{Av*Va̿SwCy:-Qn1/q"S7q)Nhız.kzeݙ t?^<еFCw8po}@/ dz exX^Mi<D~BTTUzs;e}Vב! 45Ƒ׆]0M1{SL20( {Yf5{HЀ ?=lH1i6z4[~ ិR+ٸpn{Wn)a|[!9OJN_k\{F[.G?4px