Jade Jones: “I have high expectations of myself, if I don’t get a gold medal I will be devastated”
Jade Jones steps into the Olympic spotlight today as she looks to defend her 57kg Olympic title she won at the London 2012 games.
Members of Jade’s family have flown out to Rio to cheer her on as she aims to add another gold medal to her growing list of titles.
Flint Football Club will be holding a ‘Community Funday’ on Thursday 18th August starting at 12.00 pm , a large TV screen will be show all the action from Rio while a bouncy castle will keep the kids occupied. Lots of other things will be happening throughout the day. Everyone is welcome.
The 23-year-old star from Flint was Team GB’s first ever Olympic Games taekwondo gold medallist.
Jade starts favourite to stand on top of the podium once again, her opening round of 16 fight at the Carioca 3 Arena is scheduled for a 2.30pm start against Moroccan Naima Bakkal.
Following the round of 16 fights the winners will then progress to the quarter finals which sart at 7pm UK time, the semi-finals are at 9.00pm and 9.30pm with the final of the Olympic woman’s 57KG taekwondo at 2am on Friday morning.
“There is a different pressure this time,” says Jade who is now based in Manchester.
“In London no one expected me to win. I was the underdog and 14-1 with the bookies. So, it was just amazing when I did it.
“Now everyone has got high expectations of me. Don’t get me wrong, I have high expectations of myself. If I don’t get a gold medal I will be devastated.
“But a true champion has to deal with that pressure and at the end of the day this is my job.”
Jade who is also the reigning European Games and European champion, starts her campaign against Morocco’s Naima Bakkal, the current African Championship silver medallist.
Four years ago, ‘Headhunter’ defeated China’s Hou Yuzhuo to make taekwondo history for Team GB.
“No one expected me to be on the team never mind win a gold medal,” she recalled. “I’d only been in the National Academy since 2010.
“I remember getting picked thinking ‘I’m going to the Olympics.’ I just went for it, trained hard and won.
“It’s a lot different this time. It’s been a long four years when Rio has been on my mind the whole time with a lot more ups and downs.
“I appreciate more now what I did in London because I realise how hard it is to win. At the time. I just went and did it and didn’t think anything of it.
“Now, If I am having a hard day or losing a bit of motivation, I will watch the final to see how focussed I was.
“I could see in my face I was going in there to win gold no matter what. That’s the same look and the same drive I have got to have again this time
“But I am feeling really strong and think I am peaking at the right time.”
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