Rio 2016: Jade Jones gold capped 'sensational' display, says Colin Jackson

Jade Jones
Jade Jones is the reigning European and Olympic taekwondo champion

Jade Jones winning a second gold medal was the highlight of a "sensational" Olympic Games for Welsh members of Team GB, says Colin Jackson.

Taekwondo champion Jones was one of four gold winners in a haul of 10 medals by Welsh athletes at Rio 2016.

"It's been fantastic for Wales. Double figures with the medal haul is again sensational for us," said the two-time 110m hurdles world champion.

"But for me the outstanding performance of the Games has to be Jade [Jones]."

The 23-year-old from Flint is the youngest British athlete to successfully defend an Olympic title after retaining her -57kg taekwondo title by beating Spain's Eva Calvo Gomez 16-7 in a thrilling final.

At London 2012 Jones was the youngest GB gold medallist at the age of 19.

Her success was a landmark victory at Rio where sailor Hannah Mills and cyclists Elinor Barker and Owain Doull also struck gold.

In all, the class of 2016 won 10 medals, surpassing the seven collected by Welsh athletes at London, contributing to a Team GB total of 67 medals.

Welshman Jackson, a silver-medallist at the Seoul Olympics in 1988, believes successfully defending her title sets Jones' achievement apart.

Team GB's Welsh medallists at Rio 2016
Hannah Mills, Women's 470 sailing - GOLDJade Jones, Women's 57kg taekwondo - GOLD
Owain Doull, Men's cycling team pursuit - GOLDElinor Barker, Women's cycling team pursuit - GOLD
Becky James, Women's cycling keirin - SILVERJazz Carlin, Women's swimming 400m freestyle - SILVER
Victoria Thornley, Women's rowing double sculls - SILVERJames Davies & Sam Cross, Men's rugby sevens - SILVER
Becky James, Women's cycling sprint - SILVERJazz Carlin, Women's swimming 800m freestyle - SILVER

And Jackson told BBC Wales he hopes GB's success in finishing second in the medal table ahead of China will inspire a new generation of competitors.

"To defend her title is something incredible, what she achieved in taekwondo was just phenomenal," he said.

Colin Jackson
Colin Jackson was World Champion at the 110m hurdles in 1993 and 1999

"There is no magic formula, each and every one of those athletes who has won a medal has worked extremely hard over periods of time, and their commitment has been outstanding.

"And their delivery of their performances, when it really matters, in this cauldron … they are just magnificent.

"I think the success of the British team generally will inspire young kids to take up all manner of sports, just to have a go. They will have a try at something."

One area of concern for Jackson was the lack of Welsh representation in track and field at Rio.

Seren Bundy-Davies was the only Welsh athlete selected for the track, failing to qualify from her 400m heat and missing out on selection for the women's 400m relay team that took a bronze medal.

"Seren carrying the flag for Wales on her own is a bit frustrating for Welsh athletics, because we have got many talented athletes," he said.

"But it is cyclical, for me, bide your time, Seren is there now but soon she will be joined by many others.

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Great Britain's Olympic review

Great Games for Team GB

Jackson says Team GB's success has shocked the rest of the world.

"The Games have been fantastic and the sporting side has been phenomenal and Britain's success is truly outstanding," he said.

"When you think they've beaten the medal tally of a home Olympic Games… that is what has really impressed me and probably if I am honest the whole of the world.

"Because I think our performances have shocked other nations globally."

Wales should have bid for Commonwealth Games

However, Jackson says he is disappointed Wales will not be bidding to stage the 2026 Commonwealth Games.

The Welsh Government ditched the idea last month after a feasibility study revealed costs of between £1.3bn and £1.5bn.

"I am really disappointed, because it is magic to host a major championship event - the way it brings people together is fantastic," said Jackson.

"And what it would mean for Welsh tourism, with people coming in and seeing what our nation is all about.

"There are so many positive things and you've just got to invest a little bit of cash and I do mean a little bit of cash, relatively, in what you will get back in the feeling it will give the nation and what it can give back financially, too."

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Listen to Colin Jackson's interview on BBC Radio Wales Sport from 19:00 on Monday, 22 August.

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