GB need a ‘new plan’ to avoid future World Taekwondo failure

By Nick HopeBBC Olympic sports reporter in Puebla, Mexico
Jones 'devastated' by defeat

Olympic champion Jade Jones feels the rest of the world has caught up with Great Britain after they finished with no World Championship medals in Mexico.

GB Taekwondo secured four podium finishes at the 2011 Worlds and had their best-ever Olympics in 2012, wining two medals.

But in Mexico Jones, 20, lost in the quarter-finals to Japan's Mayu Hamada.

"We need to take a little time to find the next thing and go ahead again," said Jones after her sudden-death loss.

"It's been a tough week for the whole team. We were ahead of everyone last year, but they have learnt from us."

On the final day of the 2013 World Championships Damon Sansum looked impressive en route to the -80kg last 16 but surrendered a 5-4 lead with three seconds remaining to lose 7-6 against Russian Anton Kotkov.

European champion Aaron Cook, who was competing for the Isle of Man, was defeated in his opening fight 13-11 by Piotr Pazinski.

Their exits followed early eliminations for British medal prospects Lutalo Muhammad, Martin Stamper, Bianca Walkden, Michael Harvey and Jones herself earlier in the week.

Jones moved from the non-Olympic taekwondo form of the sport in 2009 and brought with her a defensive blocking technique known as "checking".

It involves a fighter lifting their leading leg to make it more difficult for opponents to hit body shots and was used to great effect en route to victory in London last year. However, it is now being used against her and other GB athletes.

"We were one of the first ones checking - now everyone's doing it and just being awkward," she said.

"GB are one of the best kickers - faster and stronger than anyone else - but you just can't score on them.

Jones battles to taekwondo gold

"We went to Korea last year and no-one was checking - it was all traditional style taekwondo. Then we went there in January and everyone was constantly checking, so everyone's just caught up."

The fighter from Flint in Wales had beaten Hamada on her way to Olympic gold but came up short in Mexico in the -57kg division.

"This sort of stuff fires me up and sometimes I need a loss to make me go on better," said Jones.

"After you've won the best thing that's ever going to happen in your life [Olympic gold] it's hard to ever get that 100% grit and determination back, but I think I have definitely got that now.

"I can't wait for my next competition and I want to kill everyone else in the ring, so I have a lot of hunger again."

Jones and her fellow British team-mates will now take a few months off before returning to training and building up to the inaugural World Taekwondo Grand Prix Series in Manchester in December.

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