Jade Jones: "I'll do everything to become the greatest"
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Double Olympic champion Jade Jones will miss next month’s World Taekwondo Grand Prix in Moscow as she aims to remain “hungry” before Tokyo 2020.
The Welsh fighter, 25, has decided to rest instead of travelling to Russia for the second round of the five-event series and expressed her thoughts in an interview given to BBC Sport Wales.
“It’s always a hard decision to pull out of a competition,” said Jones.
“I always want to fight and I don’t want to see anybody else win a gold medal.”
She added: “But I think in the long run it’s good for me, because if you fight too many times, you could lose a bit of hunger.
“Your opponents can get used to your fighting style, so I think it’s good I’m in a position where I can pick and choose my competitions.
“I’ve had a little bit of time off because it’s literally the only bit of time off I can get in the year.”
Jones won gold at the year’s opening Grand Prix in Rome in June by beating Spain’s Marta Calvo Gomez 14-12 in the -57kg final.
She took a break after that competition but has returned to full training to prepare for the Grand Prix in Chinese Taipei in September and the following leg in Manchester in October.
“That (Manchester) is definitely a big hit on my list,” said Jones.
“All my family and friends don’t often get to come and watch so Manchester will be amazing.”
Jones’ main focus though is on defending her Olympic title at the Tokyo games.
The London 2012 and Rio 2016 gold medal winner is aiming to become the first fighter to win three taekwondo gold medals.
Jones would also move ahead of the leading female taekwondo Olympian, the Republic of Korea’s Hwng Kyung-seon, who won two golds and a bronze from the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Games.
“With two years until Tokyo, the alarm bells are ringing and you know it’s getting close,” said Jones.
“Just having the chance to go to another Olympics and to become one of the greatest in the sport is what gets me out of bed in the morning and I’ll do everything I can to achieve that.
“In the last Olympics I was only 23 so you could argue I’m still not quite in peak, so I’m hoping I’ll be wiser, faster and stronger in Tokyo.
“The competition is getting harder and harder and the more years you do the sport, there are different challenges and different tasks which come along with it.
“I need to keep racking up points for Tokyo and keep improving and ahead of the game because before you know it, Tokyo will be here.”
Source: BBC Sport Wales