Jade Jones loves a bit of hardcore garage and knows all the moves but party time can wait for the Olympic taekwondo champion.
London 2012 gold medallist Jones has gone back to basics in pursuit of a first ever World Grand Prix title in Kazakhstan this weekend.(August 29-31)
So, you might find decking but no decks, hammers but no MC Hammer in the 21-year-old’s garageland.
“I’m in a really good place at the moment,” confirms Jones, one of just six GB Academy athletes competing in Astana.
“I’ve been sparring with my coach, Paul Green, in his garage,” she reveals. “There’s not much space and you’ve got tools and ladders hanging off the wall.
“But I enjoy that environment because you feel really hardcore. When I spar with Paul, I feel like if I can do well against him, I can do well against anyone.”
Mancunian Green was in Jones’s corner two years ago when she became Britain’s first ever female Olympic taekwondo champion. And as a former Olympian, Green is more than capable of handling the girl nicknamed ‘Headhunter.’
Certainly, Jones is fired up to claim more scalps as she looks to improve on her silver medal at the inaugural WTF World Grand Prix in Manchester last December.
“I’ve trained really hard but it’s different now because we are doing so many more competitions,” she explained. “Rather than getting really excited I’ve got a different mindset. It’s all about getting stuck in and trying to get the job done.
“Rather than over thinking the contests I’m just going in to fight mode straight away. That gives me an edge over most of the other girls because I just like to get in and scrap.
“Normally, I’m only doing a few tournaments a year and trying to peak for those big events. This is a new challenge, trying to get-up for every competition.
“So, it would be fantastic to get my first Grand Prix title and those 40 ranking points. My aim is to do really well this weekend, in Manchester in October and then at the Grand Prix final.
“If I do that I can chill out a bit more in 2015 and perhaps pick and choose my tournaments a bit more. That way there is less chance of injury so I can focus on the World Championships.”
‘Walthamstow Warrior’ Lutalo Muhammad (-80kg) and Mahama Cho (+80kg), Grand Prix champions in Manchester, 2014 European silver medallist, Damon Sansum, 2011 World silver medallist, Michael Harvey, and London Olympian, Martin Stamper, complete the GB squad.
WTF World Grand Prix, Astana
+80kg: Mahama Cho (Stockwell, London)
-80kg: Lutalo Muhammad (Walthamstow, London), Damon Sansum (Elgin).
-68kg: Michael Harvey (Manchester), Martin Stamper (Liverpool)
-57kg: Jade Jones (Flint)