‘I was petrified’ – Jed Jones Says Anxiety Caused Taekwondo Tokyo 2020 Olympics Disappointing

Two-time Olympic taekwondo champion Jed Jones said she “didn’t do well” at last summer’s Tokyo Olympics after “battling anxiety” during the lockdown.

Jones, 29, wanted to win a third gold medal but lost the first match to Refugee rival Kimia Alizadeh.

She revealed that the accumulation of the Olympics and the impact of Covid-19 did play a role in her performance.

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“I didn’t realise how much the lockdown had affected me,” she told BBC Sport Wales.

“I haven’t really talked about it because it’s not the kind of thing I do. But I’ve been struggling with a lot of anxiety during lockdown and never really experienced it before.

“I was terrified of getting close to my family thinking I was going to pass on this deadly thing – like everyone does. I thought too much. That’s where it started.

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“Apart from putting all the pressure on myself and being locked down. Then at the end, what usually helps is my family is there to cheer me on – and that’s totally different [in Tokyo].

“It’s dead. It’s not even like the Olympics. I’m just mentally and taekwondo trying to get into that zone, and it’s a little bit of a mess in those two minutes and you’re out. Your Olympics are over.”

Jones returned to the field with a victory at the Presidents Cup in February.

She said she would do everything in her power to win a third gold medal at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

“I’ve learned a lot of lessons. One of them is to enjoy it again and not expect too much from everything. Try to give my best in every game and see what it can bring me.

“I hope that over the past few years, I will definitely enjoy this journey even more.

“My first game was great. I fought five really tough opponents. Obviously, having my feet on the ground saying I’m still here was a dream comeback. Tokyo was a fluke and a one-off.

“I’m going to move on because I still believe I can get a third medal. But just realise it’s tough. I might go again and lose my first race again. So it’s about reality, It may not have a fairytale ending – but I’ll try my best.”

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The Olympics will return with Paris 2024, live on Eurosport and Discovery+

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