Turkish Delight For Jones As World And Olympic Champion Returns To Title-Winning Ways
11th December 2020
Jade Jones struck gold for the first time in 18 months as GB Taekwondo fighters excelled at the European Championships for Olympic Weight Categories in Bosnia.
The double Olympic champion joined teammate Bradly Sinden on top of the podium with victory over Turkish rival, Hatice Ilgun.
Welsh star Jones, 27, lost on golden point to Ilgun in the -57kg final at last month’s Open European Club Championships.
She also came second to the former world championship silver medallist at the World Taekwondo Presidents’ Cup event in Helsingborg earlier this year.
This time Jones emerged triumphant, winning 35-11 to claim her first title since capturing a maiden world championship in Manchester in May 2019.
“I am buzzing,” said Jones. “I have trained really hard, worked on my game and developed some things.
“For it all to come together in the last event of the year makes me super happy.
“Now, I can go into next year with a real belief in my plan. It’s amazing to be back doing what we all love.
“It’s been a hard year with the Olympics being postponed. So, to be back on the map, fighting again is amazing.
“I was stood on the podium watching the Union Jack being raised and I just want that to be happening in Tokyo next year.
“It was good to hear the National Anthem again-it’s been a while.
“2021 is the new, big year and I am just chuffed I am going in off the back of a win. I just want to keep performing and getting better.
“I am going to crank it up even more next year to try and get the gold in Tokyo.”
Yorkshire star Sinden made it two tournament wins from two following up his recent success at the Open European Club Championships in Croatia.
The world champion from Doncaster again proved too strong for Nimrod Krivishkiy, beating the Israeli athlete for a second successive event, this time 32-25 in the -68kg class.
The squad returns from Sarajevo with three additional bronze medals for Rebecca McGowan (+67kg), fellow Scot Jordyn Smith (-49kg) and Maddison Moore (also -49kg) from Blakedown.
Consistent McGowan followed up her gold at the Open Euro Clubs competition with third place this time, losing her semi-final to Turkey’s Nafia Kus.
Moore also doubled her recent medal tally. But after an impressive 32-30, golden point victory over 2016 European champion Iryna Romoldanova of Ukraine, she agonisingly bowed out to Israel’s Abishag Semberg on superiority during the golden point round.
Teenager Smith missed out on a final place as she lost 25-5 to Spaniard Adriana Cerezo.
“It’s definitely been a different year,” she said. “But I think the fact that we actually got to compete was really good.
“The year didn’t start off the way we wanted to so to finish it off with 2 competitions is great.
“I loved being back in the ring and putting in the work I’ve been doing over lockdown and over the past few weeks.
“Next year is going be a busy year,” said the Falkirk youngster. “But I can’t wait to get back to competing regularly and proving myself on the mats. I can’t wait to start the year strong.”