Jade Jones wins World Championship silver medal

By Nick HopeBBC Olympic sports reporter

Britain's Jade Jones has won a silver medal at the Taekwondo World Championships in Gyeongju, South Korea.

The 18-year-old Flint fighter's success came in the -57kg category only 24-hours after Sarah Stevenson took gold.

Youth Olympic champion Jones has dazzled since stepping up to the senior scene this year, winning three medals in her first two Open events.

However, after leading 5-4 against Yuzhuo Hou of China, she was forced into a sudden-death round.

"I'm disappointed with how close it [the final] was, it's just horrible," Jones told BBC Sport.

"But 2010 was amazing, winning the Youth Olympics and I didn't think it could get any better, but I'm buzzing with how well it's gone."

The teenager's talent was emphasised in the semi-finals.

Jones found herself 6-2 down to 2008 European Championship medallist Marlenee Harnois of France, with only one round to go, but fought back to level at 7-7, before progressing in sudden-death.

"I knew I had the talent [to get a medal], but the World Championships is so hard and in the past we haven't been great, but as a team were getting much stronger."

Many of the British team now face an anxious wait to discover whether their weight division will be one of the four that British Taekwondo selects for next year's Olympic Games.

A decision is due to made on 11 May.

"I just wanted to go out and do my everything and then if my weight didn't get picked, at least then I've given my all," stated Jones.

"Now I've just got to hope that's enough, so fingers crossed that my weight gets selected and then I can train harder and get bigger and better."

Jones' achievements drew considerable praise from day three's World Championship gold medallist Sarah Stevenson.

The 28-year-old said that while she isn't ready to leave the sport just yet, she knows that when she does, British Taekwondo will be left in safe hands.

"Jade has been absolutely amazing, not only during this championships but throughout the last couple of years," said Stevenson.

"She reminds me of myself in a way and I know what she's going through because I've been there myself and it really hurts to come so close [to gold], but when she looks back on this in a couple of days' time I'm sure she'll realise how well she's done."

"We're all so proud of her," concluded Stevenson.

Martin Stamper was another Brit hoping to better the bronze he secured with victory in Tuesday's quarter-finals, but he was up against Olympic bronze medallist Servet Tazegul of Turkey.

The Liverpudlian had beaten his opponent to win the German Open title in March, but Stamper struggled throughout this encounter, falling behind early on before eventually succumbing to Tazegul's power 15-2.

The Turk went on to take the title with a thrilling 9-8 victory over defending champion Mohammad Motamed Bagheri of Iran.

"I knew it was going to be hard as he's such a skilled fighter and perhaps it's difficult to be happy when you've just lost, but a bronze is a good result and hopefully I've given my weight-division a good chance of being selected [for the Olympics]," Stamper told BBC Sport.

Jones's and Stamper's successes combined with Stevenson's gold, mean the 2011 tournament is Great Britain's most successful Taekwondo World Championships.

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