Olympic champion and newly crowned World Grand Prix Series winner, Jade Jones, is GB Taekwondo’s Player of the Year for 2014!
The accolade tops off a superb 12 months for the 21-year-old Welsh star recently voted World Taekwondo Federation Female Player of the Year.
“It’s always nice to collect awards and this one is especially pleasing because there were so many good candidates in the GB Academy set-up,” said Jones, who finishes another successful 12 months ranked second in the world.
“I have had a few near misses this year but I have always trained hard and knew the rewards would come eventually. So, I am happy with the progress I am making, especially with the Rio Olympics only 18 months away.”
European gold medallist, Bianca Walkden, Commonwealth and French Open champions, Mahama Cho and Damon Sansum, plus Ruebyn Richards, a winner of the Luxor and Fujairah Open titles, were all contenders for Jones’ latest prize.
With nearly 30 full-time fighters training at the GB Academy in Manchester, management and coaches have implemented inaugural Player of the Year awards for Juniors and Cadets.
Liverpool Taekwondo Academy’s Abigail Stones and Christian McNeish from Plaistow took the respective Junior trophies. Siena Limbu Lingden, a member of London based Gurumu Taekwondo, and Mason Yarrow from Doncaster club, Ultimate Taekwondo, claimed the Cadet honours.
Super Stones, 16, showed why she’s tipped for the top during a year in which she became World Junior champion and also claimed a bronze medal at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China.
Londoner McNeish came into WTF style taekwondo from a kick-boxing background but he is already making great strides. He claimed a senior Commonwealth title in Edinburgh back in November and like Stones returned from the Youth Olympics with a bronze medal.
Limbu Lingden, aged 12, is the youngest Player of the Year. Her crowning glory in 2014 was a silver medal at the first ever World Cadet Championships, losing in the final to Chinese Taipei’s Guan Jie Wu.
Yorkshire starlet Yarrow, 13, also gained World Cadet selection-reaching the quarter-finals-but there were medals at the Commonwealth Championships (gold) and National Championships (silver).
GB TAEKWONDO PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD WINNERS:
Player of the Year
Junior Player of the Year
Female – Abigail Stones
Male – Christian McNeish
Cadet Player of the Year
Female – Siena Limbu Lingden
Male – Mason Yarrow