Taekwondo golden girl Jones named BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year
Tuesday, 11 December 2012
December 11 - Britain's Olympic taekwondo gold medallist Jade Jones has been named as the BBC Cymru Wales Sports Personality of the Year 2012 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.
The 19-year-old from Flint, who made history after winning Britain's first Olympic gold medal in the sport at the London 2012 Games, pipped rugby union back-row star Dan Lydiate and cyclist Geraint Thomas to the post, as they claimed second and third respectively.
The young star expressed her joy of adding another impressive achievement to what has already been a successful year.
"It's a great honour – I can't believe I have won," Jones (pictured top) said.
"There were so many great people I was up against and the fact that the public got to vote...it's such a great honour that people recognised what I have done."
Jones beat China's Yuzhuo Hou 6-4 in the London 2012 final to claim the -57kg title – a fitting way to take revenge after losing out to Yuzhuo in last year's World Championships final.
Despite, to many of her fans dismay, not being including in the shortlist for the United Kingdom-wide BBC Sports Personality of the Year award, her Olympic endeavours were rewarded last night by her home nation.
Runner-up Newport Gwent Dragon's flanker Lydiate – the blind-side who was a star performer in the 2011 Rugby World Cup – was also voted the 2012 Six Nations player of the tournament after assisting Wales to a Grand Slam victory.
Cyclist Thomas, who joined teammates Steven Burke, Ed Clancy and Peter Kennaugh to form the British London 2012 Olympic gold medal team pursuit quartet, smashed the world record to retain their Olympic track title, and was duly voted third in the BBC Cymru Wales awards.
Meanwhile, the Welsh rugby union squad took Team of the Year following their third Six Nations clean sweep in eight years.
Lynn Davis, the Tokyo 1964 Olympic long jump champion, who became best known as "Lynn the Leap" after recording 8.07 metres at those Games and held onto the Welsh record for an outstanding 34 years, won the Lifetime Achievement award.
The Carwyn James Junior Sportsman of the Year went to 200m freestyle swimmer Ieuan Lloyd, who broke the Davies' Welsh record in both the 200m and 400m freestyle during the short-course World Cup event in Tokyo last November.
The teenager went on to compete at London 2012 but narrowly missed out on the semi-finals.
Cyclist Elinor Barker picked up the remaining Junior Sportswoman of the Year award – a fitting reward for the 18-year-old from South Wales who clinched the 2012 Junior Time Trial World Championship in New Zealand, the Junior European Individual and Team Pursuit titles in Portugal, and the Junior Time Trial gold at the World Road Championships in the Netherlands.
The young star topped off the year by riding to victory at last month's UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Glasgow with the all-conquering women's team pursuit, Dani King and Laura Trott.
The British trio overcame Australia in the final despite the Australian's having a quicker qualifying time.
Another significant annual award – decided by a separate panel – is the Wales Unsung Hero, which was this year presented to long-term Swansea Rifle Club volunteer Arthur Wood.
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October 2012: Jones looking to regain motivation for 2013 World Championships
August 2012: Joyful Jones stuns world champion as Britain finally lands Olympic taekwondo gold
March 2012: Britain's Jones beats China's world taekwondo champion but misses gold at German Open
December 2011: Double medal success for GB taekwondo team at French Open
May 2011: Teenage sensation Jones takes silver on World Championships debut in South Korea