25/05/2022

Usspavolley

The Sport Effect

Tokyo Olympics: Is Taekwondo star Jade Jones Britain’s most underrated Olympian?

Taekwondo may well not be the most properly known of the beat sports activities at the Tokyo Olympics this summer, but British fighter Jade Jones is assisting to assure its acceptance is continuously on the increase. 

Of program, boxing has a around the globe fanbase and will be adopted considerably additional closely at the Online games – and there will be several men and women out there unfamiliar with the regulations of Taekwondo.    

But take just one glimpse at Jade Jones in action and you will will need no additional convincing about the high quality she delivers to this brand of martial arts, and as its poster woman the strides she experienced built in elevating the activity are admirable.

Taekwondo star Jade Jones is seeking a third gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics this summer

Taekwondo star Jade Jones is trying to find a third gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics this summer

The British star has made admirable strides to increase taekwondo's profile in the UK

The British star has built admirable strides to increase taekwondo’s profile in the UK 

She announced herself at the London 2012 Games, winning gold and earning a legion of fans

She announced herself at the London 2012 Online games, successful gold and earning a legion of fans

The actuality the 28-calendar year-previous is hunting down her third gold medal in Tokyo this calendar year comes as no shock in anyway, even if gaining world wide recognition stays significantly tough no how several medals are around her neck.

When London 2012’s legacy is remembered by the ‘Super Saturday’ heroes of Dame Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford on August 4, young Jones was quietly likely about her business just times afterwards. 

She cruised her way to the Taekwondo remaining at the ExCel centre – beating China’s Hou Yuzhuo by six factors to four to claim gold.

Her achievement acquired her overnight fame and coincided with a spectacular uptake in youngsters obtaining concerned in Taekwondo, as properly as drawing in a new group of supporters who experienced witnessed her triumph – but even she could under no circumstances predicted how dominant she would develop into.

Jones won overnight fame and her success coincided with an uptake in youngsters getting involved with taekwondo

Jones gained overnight fame and her achievement coincided with an uptake in youngsters obtaining concerned with taekwondo

Practically a ten years on, Jones is working out of area for all her medals – the hottest becoming a third straight European gold in April, just the variety of momentum she wants to take into Tokyo as she seeks to develop into the initially Taekwondo competitor to earn 3 Olympic golds on the trot.

Jones adopted up her London heroics with an additional gold medal at Rio 2016 and now has background in her sights, but has no system to simply call time on her career if she does scoop her third gold in Japan, admitting the prospect of a shorter time time period right up until Paris 2024 is tempting.

‘I was wondering this would be the very last Olympics, but [mentor] Martin [Stamper] reported that by the time we finish, it will only be two several years to go right up until the up coming just one!’ Jones reported in April.

‘If I gained in Tokyo, I am going to have so several factors now I am going to only will need a handful of additional to qualify for Paris.’

JADE JONES MBE

Born: 1993, Bodelwyddan, Wales

Top: five ft 6

Weight: 126 lb

Nickname: The Headhunter

Olympic golds: London 2012, Rio 2016

European golds: Montreux 2016, Kazan 2018 

 

Jones – who was named in Staff GB’s taekwondo squad for Tokyo together with Bianca Walkden and Bradly Sinden, was born in Bodelwyddan, Wales, in 1993.

She grew up on a council estate prior to becoming urged to get into taekwondo by her grandfather at the age of eight.

She is grateful for her humble origins, and feels the activity is inclusive to men and women of all backgrounds – anything that aided springboard her on to the road to make background as an Olympian.  

‘As a crew, we’ve appear from all kinds of unique backgrounds and areas,’ reported the 28-calendar year-previous.

‘We’re a family. We’re in it together and we wrestle together, teach together and earn together. Selected sports activities do not take a large amount of income to do and we are just one of them.

‘To start out taekwondo you can just do kicks in the air, you do not will need something to start out off and practice and it really is the very same with boxing.

‘It’s an awesome activity for men and women who usually are not properly off and to however make it to the top.

‘I appear from a council estate and it really is awesome to see all those kinds of stories, to see that no make a difference what qualifications you’ve got appear from, you can make it.’

Jones is the nO 1 ranked woman taekwondo fighter in the entire world at her excess weight division of 57kg, with 519 factors. 

Jones is grateful for her humble origins having grown up on a council estate before being urged to take up the sport by her grandfather at the age of eight

Jones is grateful for her humble origins acquiring developed up on a council estate prior to becoming urged to take up the activity by her grandfather at the age of eight

Her dazzling career has seen her select up 15 gold medals, seven silvers and four bronze throughout the Olympics, entire world championships, European championships, Grand Prix and youth game titles.

She may well not get the very same recognition that the top Olympians do, but she has gone a long way to elevating her profile, equally in and out of becoming an athlete. 

Her attempts at London 2012 observed her named Wales Athletics Personality of the Calendar year – beating off competition from cyclist Geraint Thomas – and SHE was awarded with an MBE by the Queen the next calendar year, with her rank afterwards becoming lifted to OBE in 2020.

Absent from activity, she’s taken methods to get her name out there with a handful of Tv set appearances – swapping taekwondo for winter sports activities as she attempted her luck on Channel 4 demonstrate The Soar.

Jones has made an effort to raise her profile - making a TV appearance on The Jump in 2017

Jones has built an hard work to increase her profile – creating a Tv set visual appearance on The Soar in 2017

She also featured in Celebs Go Dating the next year alongside Gemma Collins and Ollie Locke

She also showcased in Celebs Go Dating the up coming calendar year together with Gemma Collins and Ollie Locke

She’s also been a contestant on the Movie star Chase and Celebs Go Dating. She was not in a position to obtain enjoy on that demonstrate – and her increase to fame also coincided with some odd requests from admirers. 

‘I get loads of random presents via the doorway which is awesome,’ she told the Sunshine in 2018. ‘And I’ve experienced men and women tweet that they’re sat at the rear of me on the teach and I am like, “oh my God”. ‘I obtain it hard to belief men and women because you do not no matter if they want you because you’re an Olympic champion or not.’ 

She additional: ‘I get men and women who just want me to kick them in the deal with.

‘They say “kick me in the head”. I am not likely to kick them in the head. And they’re like, “no you should truthfully kick me in the head”. ‘I assume they assume it’d be amazing to be kicked in the head or anything. I want cuddles not kicks.’  

Jade, who is now in relationship with her previous taekwondo crew-mate Jordan Gayle, is nicknamed ‘The Headhunter’ thanks to her inclination to kick her opponents in the head somewhat than the overall body. Contestants can score 3 factors for a kick to the head, four for a spinning kick to the head, but only just one for hanging the overall body.

Jones has enjoyed her rise that has seen her named as an MBE by the Queen in 2013

 Jones has appreciated her increase that has seen her named as an MBE by the Queen in 2013

Jones is nicknamed 'The Headhunter' due to her tendency to go for the head rather than body

Jones is nicknamed ‘The Headhunter’ thanks to her inclination to go for the head somewhat than overall body

She admitted she has been affected by training in tough conditions while in lockdown

She admitted she has been influenced by schooling in tough circumstances when in lockdown

It really is that ambition and precision that is aided her develop into the top woman taekwondo fighter in the entire world. 

Getting put in the very last calendar year in lockdown with her flatmate – fellow entire world champion Walkden – and boyfriend Gayle, Jade is now seeking in advance to creating background in Japan, even while she struggled with the mental problem of maintaining her spirits large when the Online games were initially postponed. 

‘I didn’t assume it would influence me,’ Jones told the BBC very last summer. ‘It’s felt like I’ve been retired a little little bit. It really is been tough.

‘Athletes always have a aim and you wake up every day with that just one matter, you practically know why you’re waking up and what you’re likely to schooling for.

‘But to wake up and assume “what am I undertaking, what competition?”

She hopes to make history in Japan by adding another gold to her Rio triumph in 2016 as she bids become the first Taekwondo competitor to win three Olympic golds on the trot

She hopes to make background in Japan by including an additional gold to her Rio triumph in 2016 as she bids develop into the initially Taekwondo competitor to earn 3 Olympic golds on the trot

She speedily turned her garage into a taekwondo studio – heading to the Countrywide Academy to take machines again residence and laying down mats and weights to get her new-glimpse schooling routine up and working. 

The pandemic has additional an additional layer of pressure to her job but she insists she has absolutely nothing to confirm in the activity, and claims she has produced a ‘thick skin’ in the course of the ups and downs of her career.

‘I’m however learning alongside the way. I am not best at it. But I try out to assume that everything I’ve gained so much no just one can take it away from me,’ told Glamour magazine. ‘Whereas, when I did applied to wrestle, I was battling to confirm anything or battling because I am the Olympic champion. While now if I reduce, no just one can take them away, I’ve now got them. 

‘I just try out to see it as a new matter and a new aim, as if it really is a degree taking part in area and I am just an additional particular person seeking to get that gold medal. 

Jones admitted she has learned to deal with pressure and is fully focused on success in Japan - with her sights already pinned on a fourth gold at Paris 2024

Jones admitted she has learned to offer with pressure and is entirely concentrated on achievement in Japan – with her sights now pinned on a fourth gold at Paris 2024

‘I assume becoming an athlete you do have to offer with a large amount including pressure, the ups and downs, an harm coming alongside, or you get sick, or you reduce. So several unique scenarios are continuously becoming thrown at you, so I assume you do get a thick skin and you’re more rapidly at becoming in a position to handle it and bounce of situations. 

‘But I am just human, and like every person else, the quarantine is hard. Anyone receives nervousness. I am lacking my family. I however come to feel all that, but just know how to handle it.’ 

Jones has appear a long way given that she burst on to the scene at London 2012, but successful a third gold in Tokyo will enable her get the recognition she warrants soon after a stunning career and inspiring an whole new era to take up taekwondo.

Should she carry on and earn a forth gold in Paris, she’ll do down in Staff GB folklore.