Comeback Star Jones Looking To Earn Top Marks In Her German Test
Olympic champion Jade Jones is raring to go and can’t wait to make up for lost time at this weekend’s German Open in Hamburg.
The 23-year-old Welsh star hasn’t fought since collecting a bronze medal at the World Taekwondo Grand Prix final series in Mexico City last December.
And after missing the Dutch Open and President’s Cup tournaments Jones wants plenty of mat time as she bids to regain a title previously won in 2013.
“It wasn’t worth risking with the Olympics coming up,” says Jones of her recent competitive hiatus caused by a minor knee injury.
“For the sake of missing a couple of competitions it was better to get strong and get back to normal. I just need to get back on the mat and have a few scraps,” adds Jones, one of 41 entries for the -57kg class. “I want as many fights as I can.
“But there are a lot of high quality players going to Hamburg so it will be a good test for my first tournament back.”
Jones, who has qualified the -57kg spot for this summer’s Olympics, knows she’s in pole position for selection and a chance to retain Britain’s first ever Olympic taekwondo gold medal. However, the reigning European Games champion isn’t taking anything for granted.
“I think I have done enough to prove my place but I have got to keep fit and keep showing the selectors I am in form,” she confirmed.
World Championship runner-up, Damon Sansum, still in the mix for -80kg selection, looks to add to last month’s Dutch Open silver medal.
However, all GB players have been in the shadow of World Champion, Bianca Walkden, this year. The Liverpool born heavyweight is going for a third successive title after wins at the Dutch Open and President’s Cup.
But a bronze medal in 2013 is her best German result to date. With selection for next month’s European Championships also at stake, the 13-strong, Manchester trained squad know the extra significance attached to this weekend’s tournament.
Squad and Schedule:
-68kg: Ben Haines (Portsmouth), Michael Harvey (Manchester), Anthony Stephenson (Bury)
-80kg: Ryan Marlow, (Telford), Damon Sansum (Elgin)
-62kg: Rachelle Booth (Wigan)
-58kg: Josh Calland (Liverpool), Max Cater (Southampton), Feyi Pearce (Croydon), Archie Waldock (Southampton)
-53kg: Charlie Maddock (Stoke on Trent)
-57kg: Jade Jones (Flint)
+73kg: Bianca Walkden (Liverpool)