Taekwondo Grand Prix: Jade Jones wins silver in Manchester

By Nick HopeBBC Olympic sports reporter
Olympic Taekwondo champion Jade Jones

Olympic champion Jade Jones was denied a first-ever Taekwondo Grand Prix gold medal, losing in sudden-death to -57kg rival Eva Calvo Gomez of Spain.

Jones, 21, tied the final at 4-4 in the closing stages, but lost to the world number one for the third time a row.

Calvo Gomez has now won all four Grand Prix's, a run which started with victory in Manchester last year.

"It's frustrating," Jones told BBC Sport. "I've made improvements but I need to go back to the drawing board."

Jones' result was the second silver medal for a British fighter at the Grand Prix following Aaron Cook's second place finish in the -80kg final on Saturday.

It is a sharp contrast to last year's event where GB's Lutalo Muhammad and Mahama Cho won golds and British fighters claimed a total of four honours.

Welsh fighter Jones produced three stunning high-scoring performances earlier in the day with the highlight a 12-0 destruction of world silver medallist Mayu Hamada in the semi-finals.

Calvo Gomez added: "I knew it was going to be a tough fight against Jade and I'm delighted to win."

Wigan's Rachelle Booth impressed in her first grand prix event, by reaching the -57kg quarter-finals.

She stunned the home crowd by defeating European medallists Floriane Liborio of France and Finland's Suvi Mikkonen in her opening two fights.

The 19-year-old, who only joined the British team last year after switching from the non-Olympic form of taekwondo, then lost to Asian Games champion Ah-Reum Lee of Korea.

"I'm proud of my first two performances," Booth told BBC Sport.

"I'm training with Jade in the [GB Taekwondo] Academy all of the time, she has a great attitude and I can learn a lot from her which is only going to make me better."

London Olympian Martin Stamper and wildcard Jordan Gayle both exited in the opening round of the -68kg division.

Former European champion Michael Harvey faired slightly better, beating Moldova's Vladislav Arventii, before going down to Iran's world champion Behnam Asbaghikhanghah.

South Korea's Dae-Hoon Lee stunned Belgian European gold medallist Jaouad Achab by landing a three-point head-kick with just one second of the -68kg final remaining.

It secured the world number one a dramatic 15-14 victory.

It is the second year Manchester has hosted a World Taekwondo Grand Prix event, with the sport's international governing body confirming to the BBC that the city will be used again in 2015.

The world's top-eight fighters in each of the eight Olympic categories will head to Mexico in December for the 2014 Grand Prix final.

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