JADE JONES WINS FIRST EUROPEAN TITLE
Golden girl Jade Jones is European champion at the fourth time of asking after victory over Sweden’s Nikita Glasnovic in Montreux, Switzerland tonight. (Friday)
The 23-year-old Welsh star warmed up for her Olympic Games title defence in Rio with a comprehensive 11-5 success over Glasnovic in the -57kg final.
“The road to Rio has been harder than it was to London,” said Jones after adding gold to her previous two Euro bronze and one silver medals. “So, to tick this title off my list before getting there, I feel on top of the world.
Jones’s medal added to an opening day bronze at -58kg for Croyden’s Feyi Pearce.
The Manchester based star was in magnificent form in the final against a familiar rival but one to whom she had never lost.
She led 2-0 after the first round and 8-1 after the second when she successful appealed for a three-point head shot. Klasnovic briefly rallied at the start of the final round, closing the gap to 8-4.
However, a final head shot completed the formalities for Jones who hopes now for her Olympic selection to be rubber stamped by GB Taekwondo selectors next month. (June).
Jones strolled through her opening two rounds outscoring her opponents 20-1! She crushed Poland’s Ewelina Mierzwinska 12-0 followed by an 8-1 victory against Daria Zhuravleva.
The semi-final against Croatia’s Martina Zubcic was a more cagey bout. Jones led 3-1 but found herself pegged back to 3-all before a last round head shot helped complete a 7-5 success against her experienced 26-year-old rival.
Great Britain’s three remaining competitors on day two didn’t fare as well. European Games gold medallist, Charlie Maddock, reached the quarter-finals at -53kg only to lose 6-3 against Floriane Liborio of France, a 28-year-old double European champion.
Portsmouth’s Ben Haines had one of the unenviable draws at -68kg. An opening 10-1 win over Michele Ceccaroni of San Marino pitted him against Turkish legend, Servet Tazegul. Haines, in his first major championship, however, acquitted himself well and only lost 6-2.
Yorkshire teenager Bradly Sinden bowed out in the first round against Gili Haimovitz but only after pushing his Israeli rival to golden point in the -63kg category.
*BBC TV are showing Saturday and Sunday finals online while Sunday’s action will also be broadcast via the Red Button service.
Saturday, May 21:
-74kg: Christian McNeish (Plaistow)
-80kg: Lutalo Muhammad (Walthamstow)
-62kg: Rachelle Booth (Wigan)
-67kg: Lauren Williams (Newport)
Sunday, May 22:
-87kg: Damon Sansum (Elgin)
+87kg: Mahama Cho (Stockwell), Lyle Walker (Law)
-73kg: Jade Slavin (Consett)
+73kg: Bianca Walkden (Liverpool)