• London 2012 - Taekwondo

Jones wins GB's 25th gold medal

ESPN staff
August 9, 2012 « London Olympics 2012 LIVE! | Chartbeat test »
Jade Jones celebrates her victory © PA Photos
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Jade Jones showed tremendous maturity as she beat world champion Hou Youzhuo in the final of the women's 57kg class to win Britain's first ever taekwondo Olympic gold.

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Jones, 19, was only crowned champion at the Youth Olympics two years ago but showed she has come of age with a sensational display in front of a charged crowd at the ExCel Arena.

After a pedestrian first round in which Youzhuo was warned for being too passive, Jones took the lead following a second warning to her opponent and an accurate blow to Youzhuo's midriff doubled her advantage on the buzzer.

She continued to press her Chinese rival in the final round and was rewarded when extending her lead having hit Youzhuo's torso. She opened up a 5-1 gap going into the final 30 seconds and, despite a late flurry from her foe, the Brit held on for a 6-4 triumph.

"It still doesn't feel real, it feels crazy," she told BBC Sport. "I've dreamt about this for ages, and the crowd have just been amazing. This can't be beaten. My coach is a legend and without him I wouldn't have been anywhere near where I was today. When I came out I just wanted to go on and win.

"To be the first ever British taekwondo athlete to win Olympic gold is amazing. To win Olympic gold is special, but to perform in front of all my friends and family is just amazing."

Martin Stamper missed out on a bronze medal in the men's -68kg category after narrowly losing 5-3 to Afghanistan's Rohullah Nikpah. Nikpah started the brighter but Stamper was first on the scoreboard with a straightforward push kick to his opponent's body. Nikpah rallied in the second, taking a 3-2 lead into the final round and soon opened up a two-point cushion as the clock ticked down.

In the final few seconds Stamper unleashed a series of kicks which failed to score, prompting the Brit to launch an appeal. It proved unsuccessful, leaving a teary Nikpah to celebrate winning a place on the rostrum.

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