Jade Jones won Great Britain’s first Olympic taekwondo gold medal and Servet Tazegul earned Turkey’s first gold of this Games on Thursday.
Teenager Jones gained revenge on double world champion Hou Yuzhuo of China with a 6-4 success in the final, making up for her reverse to the world number two at the same stage of last year’s World Championships.
And Tazegul added Olympic gold to the world title he won last year by beating the same man again in Iran’s Mohammad Bagheri. It was Turkey’s first gold and only their second medal of any colour at these Games.
But it was 19-year-old Welsh lass Jones — who claims to be so superstitious that she has lucky knickers and socks — who raised the roof with a smart performance to beat her more decorated foe.
She proved she has been maturing steadily having twice taken bronze at the European Championships as well as a world silver over the last two years.
After a scoreless first round in the women’s under-57kg final, Jones started wracking up the points with sneaky kicks to the midriff.
Hou, 24, never managed to get into the bout and was left frustrated as twice she earned a penalty point, helping her opponent keep her nose in front.
“It feels crazy. It’s amazing and the crowd’s amazing,” said the new champion. “Before I came out I thought, I’m not letting her beat me here in front of the home crowd. To be the first athlete to win Olympic gold is amazing.”
Hou admitted she had been tactically out-fought.
“I’m happy with the silver, but I’m of course a bit disappointed for not getting gold,” she said. “I couldn’t fight the way I was supposed to. I had to change my strategy because after a while I couldn’t apply it to the fight.”