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#48 GAITW2016 – Jade Jones

An Olympic gold medal is generally considered the pinnacle in most sports. To win one underlines four years of complete dedication to a craft. This is especially true in sports like taekwondo, where one slip in focus over a day of competition can be disastrous.

To win two Olympic taekwondo golds requires something really special.

Enter Jade Jones, GB Taekwondo’s Welsh head hunter. Jones won a second 57kg Taekwondo gold in Rio, and with it, secured her legacy as one of Britain’s greatest ever martial artists. She is one of the few athletes from a minority sport on our list of the world’s greatest athletes.

Having won a surprise gold in the 57kg category in London 2012 aged 19, she had a queue of blokes who were up for a training scrap. Luckily for Jones, she’s “not scared to get stuck in and have a scrap, whereas a lot of girls don’t want to be hit in the face”.

Her 16-7 victory over Spain’s Eva Calvo in the gold medal match in Rio this year was an utterly dominant performance, and it helped her prove that success in 2012 was no fluke – and this after four years of innuendo that suggested her heart wasn’t in the sport any more.

Now, for the second time, she is regarded as the world’s best. She openly admitted after London 2012 she required a reinvention of herself in order to stay competitive, and it worked. Now, she looks forward to Tokyo 2020 with the desire and impatience only the very best athletes possess.

Jade Jones FS magazine's greatest athletes ()

 

Check out the full list of FS magazine's 50 Greatest Athletes in the World Right Now 2016

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