Jade Jones wins first world taekwondo world title

Credit: PA

Jade Jones finally added an elusive first world taekwondo title to her double Olympic gold with a 14-7 win over defending champion Lee Ah-reum in Manchester.

Jones, who had been defeated by Lee at the semi-final stage in Muju two years ago, defied a final-round fightback to claim a victory which underlines her status as one of the sport's all-time greats.

The 26-year-old may have been forgiven for wondering if the world title would be the major title to elude her after a series of near-misses stretching back to her first World Championship in 2011.

But having scraped through to the final in less-than-convincing circumstances on Friday night, Jones made no mistake against her rival and controlled their contest from the start before celebrating in front of her ecstatic home fans.

Jones couldn't hide her joy at winning her first world title. Credit: PA
Jade Jones (R) claimed world silver in 2011 and lost in the semi-finals in 2017. Credit: PA

Jones' victory erased the memories of those previous heartbreaks, starting in 2011 when, at the age of barely 18, she had to settle for a silver medal after losing a sudden-death final round to China's Hou Yuzhuo.

Jones fell short at the quarter-final stage in 2013 and two years later also went out in the last eight after a controversial loss to Iran's Kimia Alizadeh, when she was hindered by a crash in the electronic scoring system.

By 2017 Jones had a second consecutive Olympic title in the bag but continued to struggle on the world stage, where she had to settle for bronze after her 14-8 loss to Lee in Muju.

Two years later Jones was intent on making up for her previous disappointments with victory on home soil, and no doubt suitably inspired by her friend and flat-mate Bianca Walkden's third triumph on Friday night.

If the manner of Walkden's win had been highly controversial, her accomplishment in becoming the first Briton to win three world titles was not lost on Jones, who craved a share of her world gold medal moment.

She controlled her contest against her former nemesis from the opening moments, when a two-point body kick gave her a lead which she was ultimately never to relinquish.