Jade Jones MBE (born 21 March 1993) is a Welsh/British taekwondo athlete who represented Team GB at the 2012 Summer Olympics, winning Britain’s first taekwondo gold medal, in the women’s 57 kg category. Jones is the reigning Youth Olympic champion in the girls’ 55 kg category, winning gold for Great Britain in 2010.
Jones was born in Bodelwyddan, Denbighshire, Wales. She attended Flint High School leaving aged 16 to take up taekwondo full-time. Jade is part of the GB Taekwondo Academy which are based in Manchester.
In 2010 Jones won a bronze medal at the 2010 European Taekwondo Championships in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Jones competed for Great Britain at the inaugural Summer Youth Olympics in Singapore; she beat her opposition to become Great Britain’s first ever gold medallist at the Games. She was named BBC Cymru Wales Junior Sportswoman of the Year 2010.
Jones won her first senior title at the US Open in Austin, Texas in February 2011. She won gold in the −62 kg division having won bronze in the −57 kg competition the previous day. At the 2011 World Taekwondo Championships in Gyeongju, South Korea Jones advanced to the final of the 57 kg event after beating Marlène Harnois of France in the semifinals. She won the silver medal after losing to China’s Hou Yuzhuo in a sudden-death round. In October 2011 Jones won a gold medal at the British Open in Manchester by defeating Harnois 10-8 in the final. At the French Open she won a bronze medal after losing to Harnois in the semifinals.
At the German Open held in Hamburg in March 2012 Jones won a silver after losing in the final. In May 2012 she won a bronze medal at the 2012 European Taekwondo Championships in Manchester.
Jones was selected to compete for Great Britain at the 2012 Summer Olympics in the women’s 57 kg weight category. In the games Jones beat Chinese Taipei’s top seed Tseng Li-Cheng in the semi-finals after having beaten Japan’s Mayu Hamada in the quarter-finals and Serbia’s Dragana Gladović in her first bout.] In the final on 9 August 2012 she beat Hou Yuzhuo of China 6 points to 4, to become the first ever Briton to win a taekwondo gold medal.
Jones won the public vote for the BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year 2012.
She is nicknamed “The Headhunter” because she prefers to try and score points from her opponent’s head rather than their body as successful kicks to the head are awarded more points than successful kicks to the body.
Jones was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to taekwondo.