Riding a rollercoaster-Jones on the up after regaining European Games title
24th June 2023
Eight years after becoming European Games champion, Jade Jones regained her title in Poland tonight (Saturday).
The double Olympic gold medallist defeated Hungarian rival, Luana Marton, in the final of the -57kg category to become GB Taekwondo’s third medallist in two days.
Jones’ gold followed bronze for Maddison Moore 24 hours earlier while World Champion, Bradly Sinden, claimed silver in the -68kg division.
“It’s obviously been a long journey,” said the 30-year-old Welsh star who recently won the World Grand Prix in Rome.
“Everyone knows – losing in Tokyo – it’s hard to stay on top and I’m getting older.
“People don’t understand how hard sport is; the rollercoaster of it and it doesn’t always go your way.
“I have sacrificed my whole life, changed my training, changed everything to try and stop that same thing happening again that I did in Tokyo.
“It is finally paying off. I got gold in Rome, I got gold here. So, it is just amazing. A couple of my family are here, too, which is the icing on the cake.”
Jones won the first two rounds of her final bout to reclaim the Games crown won against Croatian Ana Zaninovic in Baku in 2015.
She also defeated double World Championship bronze medallist, Kristina Tomic, also of Croatia, 2-1 in the semi-finals and Spain’s Arlet Ortiz Benito 2-0 in the quarter-finals.
On the prospects of a third Olympic gold at Paris 2024 she said: “I am just trying to take it step by step.
“Obviously, I have got to qualify first so these are big ranking points. I just want that chance to try and go for history again and I will give it absolutely everything to try and achieve it.”
Sinden also knocked out Croatian opposition in his last four bout. But victory against Leon Glasnovic was his last as injury forced him to pull out of the final against Javier Perez Polo of Spain.
Moore from Blakedown is still on a high after her bronze medal-winning performances.
“I have been to so many events in the past five years of my career and not come out where I wanted to,” said Moore after beating Israel’s Abishag Semberg.
“I have never been to an event like the Games and it has been phenomenal. It has just been a great experience.
“Bronze wasn’t the colour I wanted but I am so happy, especially with how the match was turning out.”
— GB Taekwondo 🇬🇧 (@GBTaekwondo) June 23, 2023
Elsewhere on day one, Mohammed Nour and Phoenix Goodman both entered the repechage but ended their quest for a podium place in the bronze medal matches whilst teenager, Zack Sarsoza, finished in the last 16.
Northern Ireland’s Jodie McKew, GBT’s third competitor on day two, lost 2-1 in the quarter-finals of the -53kg division against Luca Patakfalby of Hungary.