Luke Jones: Jade Jones' younger brother following in Olympian's footsteps

Jude Jones and Luke Jones
Luke Jones hopes to emulate the success of his older sister Jade
Taekwondo World Championships
Dates: 24-30 June Venue: Muju, South Korea

Having one Olympic gold medallist in a family is rare, but the Jones family are aiming for two.

Teenager Luke Jones has set his sights on following in the footsteps of his older sister and double Olympic taekwondo champion Jade, who will bid for World Championship glory in South Korea at the end of June.

After being signed up by the sport's Great Britain academy as one of 14 successful candidates in the Fighting Chance scheme in March 2017, the 18-year-old from Flint in north Wales has major ambitions.

"I'm going to aim for Tokyo 2020 and winning an Olympic medal is the ultimate," said Luke.

He has a bit of catching up to do with his 24-year-old sister - and not just because of her success.

Late starter

Jade, nicknamed the 'Headhunter', started her taekwondo dream from a young age, whereas brother Luke was a relatively late starter.

"Jade is a massive inspiration and is basically the only reason I do it," added Luke.

"She came home one weekend from the academy in Salford a couple of years ago and asked me to train with her.

Jade Jones and her brother Luke
Jade and Luke get kitted up for an early taekwondo session

"She wanted me to hold pads and then said 'why don't you have a go at kicking?'

"So I just had a little play around and found it fun. Then I went to a local club in Wrexham.

"After about six months, I was getting better and better and Jade took me to a session where she trained in her spare time with her coach Paul Green's dad Brian in Manchester.

"I went there for a couple of sessions and then did the trial for the junior pathway and got into the three month trial for the academy."

Sibling rivalry

Luke will fight at -58kg while Jade competes at -57kg, with the younger brother revealing how sparring even stretches into the family home.

"When she comes home we sometimes go together training," he said.

"But mostly we gear up in the living room.

"We move the sofas out of the way, put the carpet up and have a little sparring session.

"The family are made up, it's all thanks to my granddad, really, dragging us both to training.

"I don't know where I'd be in my training without my granddad. I probably wouldn't be doing the sport."

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Jade Jones wants to tick World Championship title off her list

Jade admitted she was delighted to have her brother in the academy with her.

"He is so naturally talented, probably more talented than me," said Jade.

"He has started late, but hopefully he still has time.

"I used to bully him a bit when we were growing up.

"I have pictures where I used to dress him up in my taekwondo suit and I had to roll up the sleeves because he was tiny. He has taken a lot of head shots in his day.

"I have told him I am going to give him a couple more months in the Academy and then we are going to have a proper fight on the system and see who wins!

"But we are at the stage now where he could beat me, but I best get it soon before he gets better!"

Olympic dreams

Luke was also inspired by watching Jade win gold at London 2012 and Rio four years later.

"The whole experience of London was amazing," he explained.

"It was the first Games I've been to and my sister was competing in it, which is a big thing already.

Jade Jones in action at the 2016 Olympic Games
Jade Jones defeated Spain's Eva Calvo Gomez to win gold at Rio 2016

"She went in as the underdog, but managed to come out with the gold.

"Everyone went crazy. Facebook just blew up. Everyone that knew her just went crazy and it put Flint on the map.

"There was still quite a lot of us went out to Rio. Tenof us went out, shared a big massive apartment. That was a crazy experience in itself."

Luke competed at the Austrian Open in June along with all of the other Fighting Chance athletes with a final decision on his future expected in August, while Jade aims to win her first world title in South Korea next month.

The Jump

Jade took a break from the sport after appearing on Channel 4's reality television show The Jump.

But she returned with a win in May and has vowed to create history by winning a third Olympic gold at Tokyo 2020.

"She's 100% the same," said Luke.

"I don't think any amount of money or any amount of fame would change Jade.

"She's set in her ways. I don't think I'm quite as good as Jade.

"I don't think I'll be having the nickname 'The Headhunter'.

"We'll have to see what my nickname's going to be."

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