Flint’s Jade Jones is a double Olympic champion.
She defended her taekwondo title in the women’s 57kg competition by beating Spanish arch-rival Eva Calvo Gomez 16-7 in a high tempo final in Rio early on Friday morning.
Jones is now the third British woman to retain an individual Olympic title, following in the footsteps of dressage champion Charlotte Dujardin and cyclist Laura Trott.
LISTEN: Jade Jones talks to Sky News Radio’s Richard Newman after winning her second Olympic gold.
Having prepared for the Olympics by winning the featherweight title at the European Championship in Montreux, she saw off Morocco’s Naima Bakkal in the first round (12-4), Belgium’s Raheleh Asemani in the quarter finals (7-2) and Sweden’s Nikita Glasnovic in the semis (9-4).
Up against the silver medalist from last year’s World Championships, Jones and Gomez delivered a fierce showpiece occasion at the Carioca Arena.
Two head kicks (three points each) in the first round opened up a six point lead, despite a protest from the Spaniard’s camp. Gomez fought back to cut the gap to a point but after cancelling out cut kicks, Jones delivered two quick kicks in the final minute to put her beyond reach. The lead could have even been extended in the last 30 seconds, if not for a video review, but Jones triumphed 16-7 to make history – and deliver Wales’ fourth gold of the Games.
She told BBC Sport: ”It feels unbelievable. I didn’t realise how much pressure I would feel but to pull this off is amazing. I am still young so to be double Olympic champion already is crazy. I’ve been crying in between sessions because I was so stressed but I did it when it mattered. I’m buzzing. My family and friends mean the world to me, and everyone back home in Flint in the pub, their support is amazing.”
Jade’s coach Paul Green said she was now the most successful British athlete in taekwondo history. He told the BBC after the final: ”She always delivers under pressure…there will probably be no-one that will beat her. She’s double Olympic champion – she’s done everything.”
Her first gold at the 2012 games in London led to a string of accolades, including the BBC Cymru Wales Sports Personality of the Year, an MBE for services to taekwondo and Flint’s revamped leisure centre being named in her honour.