Rio 2016: Jade Jones retains Olympic Taekwondo title

Jade Jones won gold in the women's 57kg Taekwondo at the Carioca Arena on Day 13 at Rio 2016. 

The 23 year-old defeated Spaniard Eva Calvo Gómez 16-7 in the gold medal fight to retain her Olympic title she won in London four years ago.

Jones' win is Team GB's 22nd gold of the Rio Games.

World number one dominant in progressing to final

Jones progressed from the earlier throughout Thursday. As the defending champion opened her account with a resounding, if nervous, 12-4 win over Morocco's Naima Bakkal.

In the quarter-finals, Belgian refugee Raheleh Asemane was dispatched 7-2 with the Briton then facing a semi versus Sweden's Nikita Glasnovich.

Against a dangerous opponent in Glasnovich, Jones kept her distance and remained patient before openings came in the third round of the fight, where the 23 year-old lived up to her nickname of 'headhunter' with a kick to the Swede's head guard opening up a clear six point advantage, as the world number one defended her way to second-successive Olympic final. 

Best two in rankings face off

From taekwondo's stance it was the dream final at the weight. The best two ranked fighters in the world squaring off for the gold. The Briton was giving away 20cm in height and the Spaniard had the significantly longer leg reach.  

Aged two years older than the Briton, Gómez had won all of her qualifying fights by just the one point - the semi-final by a golden score. A player capable of frustrating her opponent, Jones would have to pick her spots with her superior leg power and ability to prowl the ring.

Gómez ranked number two in the world behind Jones had been a formidable force in taekwondo over the last two years. Jones however had beaten her opponent in their last two meetings. The last time they met the Welsh player won out 14-4 at the end of 2015. 

Jones too evasive for Spaniard

Both players started at a pace as Gómez looked for her range. After a tight catious opening minute, Jones suddenly rushed in with a roundhouse right and quickly followed with another kick to the head and opened up a six nil lead at the break.

Jones' leg power was too great for the Spaniard (photo:getty)
Jones' leg power was too great for the Spaniard (photo:getty)

The Spanish fighter found two quick points in round 2 to reduce the arrears only for the Welsh player to move the score onto 7-2. Again another quick riposte made it 7-3, before a head kick of her own close the gap to just one. At the final interlude, Jones led 7-6, with the contest wide open.

In a hugely open final, the final round swung back and forth. It was Jones again with two swift head kicks to take a decisive six points and lead by 15-7, with a minute to go. The Spaniard tried in vain to catch her foe, but Jones won out comfortably 16-7 to retain her Olympic title.