Jade Jones: Taekwondo star happy to return after taking part in The Jump

Jade Jones
Jade Jones won gold in the taekwondo -57kg category at London 2012 and Rio 2016

Double Olympic gold medallist Jade Jones says she is happy to return to Taekwondo after taking part in winter sports reality TV show The Jump.

GB taekwondo chiefs said they had "reservations" about Jones appearing on the Channel 4 programme.

But the 24-year-old won gold in the World Taekwondo Federation President's Cup on her return to the sport.

"It feels amazing to be back training. I'm buzzing to win my first competition back," she told BBC Radio Wales.

After two months away from the sport, Jones says she had to work hard to get back to her best before clinching gold in Athens on Thursday.

"I've been back training for a couple of months. It was literally as I stopped doing The Jump but because I've been off for a long time, I was doing weights and getting strong again and losing the weight I'd put on," she said.

"As an athlete you become obsessed about training and being healthy so when you start to see yourself piling on the pounds and you're not in shape, you start to want to get back in shape and want to be the best.

"It wasn't like I was unhealthy. To the average person I was far from fat but because I'm in a weight category and I have to stay that weight.

"For the first time in my life, I was eating what I wanted to, to switch off. I put on about a stone from my weight category which is a lot to lose so I'm glad it's off."

Trying something different

After joining The Jump, Jones received criticism for her decision after former Olympic gymnast Beth Tweddle was seriously injured while competing the show in 2016.

Jones still received her full UK Sport funding during her time on the programme, whereas Paralympic cyclist and athlete Kadeena Cox did not.

"I don't blame people for thinking it was a silly idea because I'm still in my peak and I've still got all my career ahead, so it was a big risk, but at the time I just wanted to try something different and switch off taekwondo," she said.

"I was safe as I possibly could be out there and at the end of the day, you can cross the road and get hit by a bus so I'd like to live life and try and take opportunities when you can.

"I learned that a lot of people have different lives. My life is so strict and I have training all the time, I eat certain things, I go to bed at a certain time and there it was a party place.

"It was really fun to have a laugh and do a sport while having fun, which was a lot different."

Jones will now aim to win the the World Championships in Muju, South Korea in June which is the only major gold medal to elude the Flint taekwondo fighter.

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