TAEKWONDO star Jade Jones can become the first British woman to win three successive Olympic golds.

The Welsh hero, 28, told ROB MAUL her memories of 2012 and 2016 and hopes for Tokyo.


I WAS 19 when I competed at the London Olympics but despite my age, it felt like do-or-die for me.

 Some of the strongest feelings I have ever felt going into a tournament.

I just wanted to win it more than I had ever wanted anything in my life. I remember everyone saying: ‘You’re young, these Games are for experience’.

But I was adamant. This is the one I want to win.  No one, apart from me, my coach and family, thought I could.

In the final, I beat the world champion Yuzhuo Hou from China 6-4. Winning was an  amazing feeling.

People were trying to drag me in all sorts of directions  and all I wanted was to find my family and give them a huge hug.

Have I watched the final back? Sometimes me and my family, we’ll put it on.  I’d be like: ‘Let me remember those feelings’. And it gives me that hunger to carry on.

RIO 2016

WHEN I got to Brazil, I remember thinking: This doesn’t feel like an Olympics.

Maybe it’s because I had been used to the home experience. I was the No 1 seed and had stormed my way through most of the competition to reach the final.

My opponent was Spanish rival Eva Calvo Gomez, who had beaten me lots of times.

I went up 6-0 after the first round. But in the second she came back strongly and I was only leading 7-6 with two minutes left.

It was so close and cagey but I got her in the head and I didn’t stop until the bell and won  16-7.

If London had been my Mission Impossible, then in Rio I was trying to defend something.

When I won, the feeling was more relief than anything. It was like: ‘Thank God that’s over’. I had so much pressure on my shoulders.

TOKYO 2020

IN the build-up, I have had some down moments. Times which have been hard.

It really hurt me when I found out about overseas spectators not being allowed to travel and my family couldn’t come.

The ten that came with me to Rio — we call them Team Crazy — were planning to go to Tokyo.

They had their flights booked, the tickets, hotels, everything. My mum and the rest of the family are devastated. They have all made a new plan and will watch it from Auntie Tina’s little garden bar instead.

So I have had to adapt and get my head round the new situation.

Now all I am thinking about is their faces when I come home through the door with the gold medal.

There have been times which have been hard before Tokyo but I have dealt with them as best as I possibly can. I almost feel in a better place than I did last time. Hopefully I’ll manage to get the gold again.


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