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Youth Olympian Jade Jones claims first senior title

Jade Jones
Jones is hoping for further success at the German Open

By Nick Hope
BBC Olympic Sports Reporter

Youth Olympic gold medallist Jade Jones won her first senior title with victory in the -62kg division at the US Open in Austin, Texas on Sunday.

The Flint fighter had taken bronze in the -57kg category on Saturday.

"The main focus for me was to get experience ahead of the World Championships in May, so I am really happy with my two medals," said Jones.

Martin Stamper took gold in the -68kg division, as the 10-strong Great Britain squad won six medals in all.

Jones's achievements were all the more remarkable given the 17-year-old had to come through two bouts on her first day of competition before a further three on the Sunday, defeating American Paige McPherson in the final.

It's been a fantastic weekend for the squad and a real boost ahead of the World Championships

GB performance director Gary Hall

"It was a tough tournament with lots of high quality fights so I am really chuffed with my performances. Now I'm looking to do the same in the German Open in two weeks time," added Jones.

Aaron Cook, the highest-profile fighter from the Great Britain team and the -80kg world number one, was the defending US Open champion but he had to settle for bronze.

The 20-year-old from Dorset, who achieved his current status after an outstanding 2010 when he claimed the British and European Championship titles, defeated team-mate Andrew Deer en-route to the semi-finals.

However, Cook was denied a chance to retain his crown after a narrow 5-4 defeat by Ramin Azizov from Azerbaijan.

Taekwondo champ Cook trains in a supermarket

"We have had some excellent performances right across the team, with experienced performers such as Martin Stamper and Aaron Cook achieving medal success, whilst at the same time we've seen young players, such as Jade [Jones], continue to make a mark on the world stage," said GB Performance Director Gary Hall.

Former kick boxing world champion Damon Sansum (-87kg bronze) and Sophie Dickson (-55kg junior bronze) were the other GB medallists.

They are also likely to be in the GB Team heading to Germany in March, as preparations for this year's World Championships in Gyeongju, Korea 1-6 May, continue to gather pace.

"We've still got a lot of work to do in the coming weeks but these results will give us confidence as we prepare for Korea," said Hall.

The team's success is another boost at the end of a week when it was announced that Manchester will host the 2012 European Championships just a few months ahead of the London Olympics.

"Having the event in Manchester gives the British team a great chance to get valuable experience and to win medals on home soil," said European champion Aaron Cook.

Jade Jones

Jones wins Britain's first Youth gold



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see also
Manchester handed taekwondo Euros
19 Feb 11 |  Taekwondo
Cook wants multiple Olympic golds
16 Feb 11 |  Taekwondo
Six 2012 sports handed cash boost
09 Dec 10 |  London 2012
Jones wins GB's first Youth gold
17 Aug 10 |  Olympics


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