EDINBURGH 20140

Jones looking for glory at the Commonwealth Games

United Kingdom - 2014/11/14 - Jade Jones can put her recent World Grand Prix near miss behind her when she makes a debut at taekwondo's Commonwealth Championships in Edinburgh this weekend. (November 15-16).


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Nearly 450 athletes will compete over two-days at Meadowbank Stadium including the 21-year-old Olympic champion who will be representing Wales.

Flint born Jones (-57kg) and Londoner Lutalo Muhammad, fighting in the -87 kilogram division, were the only Commonwealth representatives to win taekwondo medals at London 2012.

They are also two of 25 fighters taking part in the first Commonwealth gathering since January 2011 trained at the GB Taekwondo Academy in Manchester.

The event is the start of a busy pre Christmas period for GB’s leading performers also scheduled to be in action at the French Open in Paris, a rare trip to the Turkish Open plus the World Grand Prix finals in Mexico.

Jones is still waiting for her first WGP gold medal but won’t have Spain’s Eva Calvo Gomez, to contend with in Scotland. Beaten three successive times by the world number one, including three weeks ago at Manchester Central, Jones is massive favourite to claim her first Commonwealth crown.

Despite her latest defeat to Gomez, Jones was GB Taekwondo’s only medal winner. But it will be a surprise if there isn’t a much bigger haul come Sunday night.

A youthful squad includes big hitters Muhammad, Mahama Cho, Olympians, Martin Stamper and Michael Harvey, plus a host of up and coming fighters looking to show up well as the countdown to Rio 2016 continues.

Falkirk born Asia Bailey, who celebrates her 17th birthday later this month, has European and World Junior medals to her name and will draw inspiration from a home crowd. Elgin raised Damon Sansum, this year’s European senior silver medallist, is another hoping to be inspired fighting in front of a Scottish audience.

The Commonwealth Championships can also provide a career breakthrough for three juniors and the most recent additions to the GB Taekwondo Academy: Max Cater, Josh Calland and Archie Waldock.

GB Performance Director, Gary Hall, says:”The Commonwealth Championships are a rare opportunity for any GB athlete to pick up ranking points and to represent their respective home nation. The athletes are looking forward to the challenge and I am sure there will be some great matches between the best of Britain.”

Taekwondo, now an established Olympic sport and confirmed for Rio 2016 and 2020 in Tokyo, isn’t yet part of the official Commonwealth Games.

It is classed as a ‘category two’ sport and while not on the programme for the 2018 Games on the Gold Coast, Australia taekwondo chiefs hope it could be added for 2022 when a host city has yet to chosen.

 

MasTKD Team

Source:  GB Taekwondo

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