Jones secures taekwondo gold for GB
Jade Jones celebrates after winning gold in the under-57kgs event // Jade Jones celebrates after winning gold in the under-57kgs event
Jade Jones celebrates after winning gold in the under-57kgs event
Jade Jones won Britain's first ever taekwondo gold when she beat Yuzhuo Hou of China in the women's under-57kgs final at ExCeL.
Jones, 19, who had beaten world number one Tseng Li-Cheng of Chinese Taipei 10-6 in the semi-final, endured a nervy start to the final but built a steady lead, thanks in part to mistakes from her opponent resulting in penalties.
However, the fighter from Wales, who lost to Hou in last year's World Championship final, soon exerted her full dominance to stretch out a four-point lead going into the final seconds and eventually closed out a 6-4 win to send the home crowd into ecstasy.
The opening against Hou was tense, as each fighter tested their range during a scoreless first two minutes. A low blow from the Chinese fighter accrued a second penalty which resulted in a point for Jones towards the end of the second round, and another shot to the body on the buzzer made it 2-0.
The Briton continued to go on the offensive and opened up a 5-1 lead heading into the final 30 seconds, closing out a stunning 6-4 victory. Jones' gold eclipses the bronze won four years ago in Beijing by Sarah Stevenson, who fights on Friday.
Jones told BBC2: "It's amazing. The crowd has just been amazing. Before I came out I was thinking that she took my World Championship final. That killed me for ages. So I wasn't going to let her beat me here in front of a home crowd. To be the first British athlete to win an Olympic gold (in taekwondo) is just amazing.
"My coach Paul Green is a legend. Without him I wouldn't be nowhere near where I was today. To win the Olympic gold is obviously special but for my family and friends to be here ... to perform has been amazing."
Meanwhile, Martin Stamper narrowly lost his bronze medal fight against Afghan Rohullah Nikpah in the men's under-68kgs event.
Liverpudlian Stamper, 25, had progressed to the semi-finals, but despite a battling effort he was beaten 9-6 by Turkish top seed Servet Tazegul, the 2011 world champion and European champion, a bronze medallist from Beijing.
"It is tough to take because I have worked so hard over the past two years, when my performances have really picked up," said Stamper. "I knew if I put in four good performances, I could achieve anything. In the bronze match, I just made one mistake when I thought I was controlling the match, then one head shot changed the game."
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