Taekwondo: Jade Jones targets practice over points in Moscow

Jade Jones beat China's Yuzhuo Hou in the women's -57kg division to win Olympic gold at London 2012
Jade Jones beat China's Yuzhuo Hou in the women's -57kg division to win Olympic gold at London 2012

Jade Jones begins the season's World Taekwondo Grand Prix campaign in Moscow this weekend with the luxury of being able to experiment with her style.

The reigning Olympic -57kg champion is only a few points from guaranteeing her place at the 2016 Games in Brazil.

The Welsh athlete, 22, took gold at the inaugural European Championships in Baku last June to boost her Rio bid.

"I just need to use these Grands Prix more for improving and trying things... for Rio," Jones told BBC Sport Wales.

"Because I don't need the points as much as other people I'm in a lucky position to practise things.

"I got gold in Baku so I'm feeling good again and I'm in a super strong place for Rio, so I've just got to keep chipping away at the points.

"Apart from the Worlds I'm undefeated, that's why it was so frustrating because of how I lost, but I'm still in such a good place for Rio."

Jones was knocked out of the quarter-finals of the World Championships in Russia amid controversy when the electronic scoring system froze.

But she bounced back in Baku and after her success in Azerbaijan returns to Russia for the first of four Grands Prix events, which includes a leg in Manchester next October.

The level of competition will be high this weekend at the Dinamo Krylatskoye Gymnasium in Moscow, with 20 Olympic medallists among a high-quality field of 245 athletes.

"Every Grands Prix is like a World Championship," Jones added.

"The top 32 in the world are there and some people have to get these points to qualify for Rio, so everyone is wanting it, everyone is hungry for the points."

The top six athletes in each weight category will qualify for Rio 2016, with the Grand Prix Final in December 2015 the last chance to earn points.

Jones is currently second in the -57kg Olympic rankings on 400.36 points, just behind leader Eva Calvo Gomez of Spain (414.64) and well clear of France's Floriane Liborio in seventh (199.21).

Winning a major event such as the European Championships earns 40 points, with between 20 and 10 points on offer for first place in other competitions. Lesser placings receive lower points.

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