London 2012 Olympics: Jade Jones’s gold is a gem for Taekwondo

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JADE JONES hopes Sarah Stevenson and Lutalo Muhammad can draw inspiration from her stunning taekwondo gold medal when they lead Team GB’s charge for more Olympic success at ExCeL today.

Jones avenged her 2011 World Championship defeat to Hou Yuzhuo of China in the women’s under-57kg on the biggest stage of all last night.

Stevenson – who has had her own testing journey to London 2012 – will aim to add to the bronze she won in Beijing four years ago when she competes at under-67kgs later this morning. Muhammad, meanwhile, will also be in action at under-80kgs, the Walthamstow fighter out to show why he was the right choice ahead of world No. 1 Aaron Cook.

“There was a lot of pressure on taekwondo to do well here, because we have got the potential,” Jones said.

“The whole team has come a long way in a short period of time. We are getting bigger and better.”

Wales teenager Jones had opened her Olympic debut with an impressive 15-1 victory over Serbian Dragana Gladovi and dispatched Japan’s Mayu Hamada 13-3 in the last eight before a late rally of trademark headkicks beat world No. 1 Tseng Li-Cheng of Chinese Taipei.

The 19-year-old from Flintshire showed no fear in the final against the Chinese fighter, closing out a 6-4 victory as South Arena 1 erupted.

Jones – taken to a local club by her grandad aged eight – was not going to let anything get in the way of her Olympic dream.

“I hurt my foot in the very first fight – it was a kick to the shin – so I had an injection in it,” she said. “At first, I was whingeing and feeling sorry for myself, but I just had to deal with because I wanted to win.”