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Olympic Champion Jones ‘Excited’ By Year Countdown To Rio 2016

Jade Jones, Britain’s first and still only Olympic taekwondo gold medallist, has promised to keep on improving, 12 months out from what she hopes will be a successful defence of her London 2012 title.

The 22-year-old Welsh star has added her thoughts to the Team GB stars already looking ahead to next summer’s 2016 Games in Rio.

“Everything is getting exciting with a year to go,” enthuses Jones, starting the defence of her overall World Grand Prix crown in Moscow next week.

“The training has been ramped up even more, especially with the Grand Prix’s coming up. Getting so close to the Olympics, these are important tournaments.  So, yes I am really excited and just want to keep on improving.”

Jones made history three years ago by beating China’s Yuzhuo Hou 6-4 to claim the -57kg Olympic title. She is well placed to qualify a place for Great Britain in her weight category but any Olympic selection won’t be confirmed until 2016.

“Last time I still didn’t really know if I was going to qualify,” said the Manchester based, Flint born ‘Head-hunter.’ “So, all my focus was on that. London was also a different challenge because I was the underdog.

“This time I am quite high in the rankings,” adds the reigning European Games gold medallist. “I’ve just got to make sure I stay there.

“And the build-up will also be different because it was a home Games and everyone was getting hyped up. But even Rio is picking up quickly; I didn’t expect this much hype already.

“However, Rio is still a long time off so I am really only thinking about the Grand Prix’s at the minute.”

The Moscow leg of the WTF World Grand Prix series starts on August 14 while Manchester will stage a Grand Prix event for a third successive year from October 16-18.

For more information and how to buy tickets visit http://taekwondogp.com

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